Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Potential New Missions in 2013

I have received several reports from mission presidents and area authorities that the Church may create as many as 50 new missions in 2013 as a result of the recent surge in the full-time missionary force.  Below is a map I created that identifies locations that appear most likely to have new missions organized in 2013.  Criteria for identifying potential locations for new missions include the administrative size of currently operating missions, the number of convert baptisms, informal missionary reports of plans to create new missions in these locations, opportunities for growth, and recent trends in mission growth over the past few years. Blue markers indicate high probability for the mission to be organized whereas yellow markers indicate moderate probability for the mission to be organized.

View Potential New Missions in 2013 in a larger map


Michael Worley said...

Might the church try to grow in USA missions more, especially with church awareness?

Downtownchrisbrown said...

Our mission president here in Canada said that he was told that the majority of the extra missionaries from the surge would be assigned to North America

Christian said...

How solid is your prediction for Brasil Americana? That would be a division of my mission which excites me, but I don't feel like it deserves to be labeled as a "high" probability, at least not yet.

Christian said...

Oh, and PS I think that a second mission in Utah County is a high probability.

soc. man I am ---------------- said...

I have also heard that they will create and reopen several North American Missions. Here is a link to my predictions.

Downtownchrisbrown said...

I'm hoping that these added missionaries in North America will lead to some church planting in some of the lesser reached areas. I know they are considering (not sure if they will or not) trying to plant a couple units within the borders of my branch. Our mission is receiving 90+ (Winnipeg Manitoba) missionaries more than what we have now.

Heather M. Collins said...

I have a question. What are the requirements for a branch to become a ward? I know there are numerical criterion which need to be consistently obtained for this to happen. That's exactly what I'm looking for.

Adam said...

Paradox I'm not 100% sure, but just a few things I know is that when you only have a district all the units are branches. In order for a stake to be formed from a district there must be at least 5 units with 15 full tithe paying Melchizedek Priesthood brethren, along with an extra 25 for stake offices, totaling up to 100 for the stake.

My guess would be that a branch would therefore need 15 full-tithe paying, active, Melchizedek priesthood brethren and be part of a stake for a branch to become a ward.

Mike Johnson said...

I had been wondering how many of the new missionaries would go overseas because:

(1) this won't impact the 48 nations that already had lower minimum ages, but would largely impact the US and Canada.

(2) increases to foreign missions would likely require more visas and that might be harder to arrange.

(3) some of the potential new missions around the world largely use missionaries from their own countries.

Thus, the idea that most will go to North America makes sense.

The Washington DC South mission covers 8 stakes and with the sizes of most of them (12-14 units in several), I think one or two new stakes could be created in the near future. It is possible that the DC South mission will split with the DC South mission covering the four "inner" stakes (Mount Vernon, McLean, Annandale, and Oakton) and a new mission (Virginia Manassas???) covering the "outer" stakes (Ashburn, Centreville, Woodbridge, and Fredericksburg) which might end up with one or two more soon enough. This would mirror what has happened north of the Potomac, with the Washington DC Mission covering the four "inner" stakes around DC and the Baltimore mission covering 4 stakes in Maryland and 2 others in western Maryland, northeastern West Virginia, and northwestern Virginia.

A F said...

The growth in the Philippines is fairly likely, actually. There may be an increase in the US, but we are expecting an explosion in numbers here. Until this year, high school ended at 16. Between 16 and 19, young men were either well into their "job" life or at the end of their college years. A lot of them talked themselves out of missions. A *lot*. In our ward, there are a couple dozen young men who could be on missions, but aren't. As of this year, school has been extended to 18. Only some schools made the shift immediately, but the transition to the new school schedule will be complete in, I believe, 2015. Between graduating at 18 and being able to leave immediately on their missions, we are expecting a major cultural shift among our young men and a massive increase in the number who serve. The vast majority of Filipinos serve in the Philippines, so they will need somewhere to go!

Eduardo said...

The opening of Mumbai, India, is amazing to think that now there are another 20 million people to contact. Virtually overnight. Younger missionaries will be capable and resilient, but the real measure of growth will be which new converts will become strong temple attenders and leaders in their wards and stakes and districts, and how the returned missionaries either latch on to the Church of Jesus Christ lifestyle or no. Many of the returned missionaries that I know from Monroe County, IN, have gone off the activity route. Others have not, but the trend of RMs no longer staying active is almost as trooubling as all the people I have helped teach and baptize who no longer attend. Not to be

Mike Johnson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike Johnson said...

soc. man I am,

interesting set of predictions.

Note, that 48 of the stakes that would remain in the Utah Ogden Mission under the proposed new Utah Ogden North Mission are actually in the Utah Salt Lake City Mission. Of the 64 stakes in Davis County, only those north of Layton are in the Utah Ogden Mission. has this wrong.

Of course, one could move the 48 stakes from southern and central Davis County back into the Ogden Mission.

That said, it might be more appropriate to include the include all of the Davis stakes and the two Morgan stakes in a new Utah Layton Mission and keep all of the Weber, Cache, Box Elder, Rich, and those in Idaho and Wyoming that are currently in the Utah Ogden Mission in that mission.

Eduardo said...

continuation from yesterday:

Not to be too negative, but news is good about new ages lowered to give more options for both men and women. Also, the changes in options for elderly couples is nice for 3 months or 6 month missions, up to 18 (3 years for mission presidents). But again, more RMs need to stay active 1 year, 5 years and 20 years after the mission. But as the increase of new applicatioins has arisen, definitely good opportunities for the Lord's work to move forth individually and collectively.

Adam said...

Concerning the posts about saturating missions in America with the surplus of missionaries, I have a question. Why? It's not like they are often just crawling with people to teach. Normally they still have free time on their hands when they are covering two wards. Organization is good enough in America that the missionaries don't need to necessarily fill in the cracks. What do you all think is the reason for this?

Adam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael Worley said...


1. Romney generated more interest in the gospel.
2. Those who are converted in the US are extremely important--the church's HQ, New Jerusalem, etc. is here. Retention is (I think) higher.
3. It is easier to send missionaries from Asia to asia, etc. then to get more passports, Visas.
4. Some countries (such as Congo) are close to being self-sufficient.

I may be completely wrong

Downtownchrisbrown said...

I think there are many reasons for sending more missionaries to North America.
First the 18-year olds potential difficulties in adjusting to different cultures. Second, visa restrictions.
Third, since many of these new missionaries will be sister missionaries they are often able to teach people that Elder's are not able to reach. So the population of those ready to teach could increase.
Fourth, some if not all North American missions are adjusting the focus of missionaries only seeking out new converts and working more with less active members. Just about every ward and branch in North America could use help with that.

Matt said...

I agree with others about why the Church is assigning many of the surplus American missionary manpower back into the United States. It is much easier to adjust the missionary complement in the United States as most missionaries are housed in members' homes. There are more resources. It may seem counter intuitive to allocate thousands more missionaries into the United States where members can undertake many of the finding, teaching, baptizing, and retention efforts. However, like others have stated, it much easier to accommodate larger numbers of missionaries within a short period of time in the United States. And, if these numbers do go down, it will be easier to consolidate areas and downsize. The Church has generally experienced greater growth when missionaries serve within their home countries. I am optimistic that we'll see a flowering of ethnic-specific programs around the country that target Chinese, Vietnamese, Hmong, Burmese/Karen, Nepali, Farsi, and Portuguese speakers and ongoing expansion of Spanish outreach.

James said...

Does anyone have an idea as to what portion of this huge uptick in missionaries in the near future is permanent and what portion is temporary? A lot of the extra numbers we're seeing is simply due to one year of both 18 and 19 year old boys leaving and 19, 20, AND 21 year old girls. Clearly, there will be a permanent increase in all this, but what is the Church going to do with the temporary increase? It seems counterintuitive to open new missions or previously unexplored areas when the missionaries to support it won't be there 2 years from now... anyone have insights on the Church's reaction to this?

Adam said...


Eduardo said...

I agree with the sentiment about missionaries resonating in their homecountries and cultures. That happens with their investigators, too.Hopefully, once an elder or sister learns the Gospel of jesus Christmore fully in their own tongue and culture, that becomes more ingrainedto them. Some who go foreign missions get a lot (or a few cases less)from the foreign environment but don't apply enough of faith andsacrifice to their service to get as much out of it. Of course, everymissionary makes their mission what they put into to it no matter what.I talked to Spaniards in Caliornia who thought our most effectivemissionaries over there would be from Spain. I agree. A nice combinationof Europeans with foreigners would be so much more welcome than twocomplete outsiders. My best times in Chile were with another Chileanelder. Grafting in the gospel more effectively, I feel.And like I commented earlier in this stream, if we could retain more ofour RMs we would be so much more powerful as a faith, as wards andstakes. I would like to know what percentage of RMs go less active. Ithink it is really high in Chile, where I have lived twice after themission there. Also, like I said, I know too many returned missionariesfrom my home state of Indiana who came back and eventually fell awayfrom activity, and they live across the US and sometimes in foreignnations.But on an optimistic note, there is always good growth most places inthe world, albeit incremental in some tougher places.

Eduardo said...

Sorry for the mushed words, that last commented was copied and pasted. Exciting news about Spain getting two new stakes. My wife served there and I visited another town called Castellon; hopefully Spain and other nations have more of their own missionaries than ever. Those who leave the country and learn another culture and language are great, too. But they have to come back and remain strong. Individuals stay active, as do collective groups. Otherwise, the pools of progress dry up into sand.

Brooks M. Wilson said...

I very much enjoy your blog. I would like to use your forecast as the beginning point of economic and social differences in countries where the church is well establish and where it now appears to be growing rapidly. Please contact me at if you have objections or questions. My blog is Blu Principles at .

Craig said...

My North America Mission proposals:
The areas that will be easiest to ramp up the number of missionaries and convert baptisms will be in the U.S. and Canada missions with the most members and stakes. I would project 20 missions in the North America areas next year, 12 in the Mormon Corridor:
Idaho Meridian (division of Idaho Boise)
Idaho Rexburg or Idaho Falls (division of Idaho Pocatello)
Utah Logan (division of Utah Ogden)
Utah Layton (division of Utah Ogden and Utah Salt Lake City)
Utah West Jordan & Utah Sandy (renamed former Utah Salt Lake City South)
Utah Lehi (from Utah Provo)
Utah Orem (from Utah Provo)
Utah Payson (from Utah Provo and Utah St. George)
Nevada Henderson (from Nevada Las Vegas)
Arizona Phoenix North (from Arizona Phoenix and Arizona Mesa)
Arizona Mesa East (from Arizona Mesa)
Arizona Gilbert (from Arizona Tempe)

And 8 others:

Oregon Portland South (from Oregon Portland and Eugene)
California San Francisco (reopened)

Texas Austin
Texas Dallas #2

Ohio Cincinnati (reopened)
Washington DC West

Craig said...

In Latin America and most other historically Christian areas outside the Mormon Corridor, missions usually do best if there are at least 4 or 5 million inhabitants and 7 to 10 stakes and districts with members to love new members in. These are the 10 I would propose for Latin America, even though the first two are a little small under the that criteria:

Haiti St. Marc
Mexico Acapulco
Colombia Bogota #3
Colombia Bucumaranga
Peru Lima #5
Brazil Fortaleza #2
Brazil Natal
Brazil Rio de Janeiro West
Brazil Sorocaba or Jundiaí
Brazil São Paulo #5

Craig said...

I would propose 8 new missions in Africa and 12 in Asia and Pacific to complete 50 new missions.

I have noted the even in Emerging Church areas, I have observed that the Brethren like to build from centers of strength. If there is any other way, they will not set up a new mission where there is only one district. That is why I think Matt is wrong to expect missions with headquarters in Guyana, Belize, Burundi, Botswana, Angola, Cameroon, and Togo. I left Ethiopia in my list because it has such a large population and would also be a base for the Church to go into South Sudan, the newest country in the world.

Liberia Monrovia
Ivory Coast #2
Ghana Accra #2
Nigeria Benin City
Ethiopia Addis Ababa
Congo Brazzaville (incl. Cameroon & Gabon)
DR Congo Kinshasa South (including Angola)
South Africa Johannesburg #2

Japan Tokyo South (reopened)
Korea Seoul South (reopened)
India Hyderabad
Malaysia East
Thailand North (including Myanmar and Laos)
Philippines Angeles #2
Philippines Baguio #2
Philippines Cebu #2
Philippines Mindinao #3
Papua New Guinea #2
Australia Brisbane #2
Australia Sydney #2 (reopened)

Unknown said...

Cool map. Do you have a map that shows all the current missions?

Adam said...

It's a little messy, but if you go to and go to the maps section, you can have it pull up the outlines of all the missions around the world.