SALT LAKE CITY – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is creating 58 new missions to accommodate a surge of new missionaries.
The new missions will span 23 different countries and come just months after LDS Church leaders announced they would lower the age requirement for missionary service, from 21 to 19 for young woman and 19 to 18 for young men.
In a news release, LDS Church Apostle Russell M. Nelson said the change is a direct response to the increase in missionary applications.
"The enthusiastic response to the change in missionary age requirements has given thousands of young people more options to serve and they have responded with incredible faith,” Nelson said.
The new missions will be created by adjusting current mission boundaries and dividing existing areas, including the addition of a Salt Lake City East Mission.
LDS Church members are excited about the new announcement. They say there has been a buzz ever since leaders lowered the eligibility age.
“I think it’s incredible,” says Kacie Egbert. “My little sister just got called. She’s probably going to be in one of the ones that gets split up because their mission’s getting pretty full right now.”
“Our first grandson will be one of those young elders," says Ann VonWaller. "He said I’ll be available January 1st. And so he was through with his little quarter of college, he graduated while we were serving our mission, so we’re happy he’s taking over the reins.”
The changes will increase the number of worldwide missions from 347 to 405.
To see a full list of the new missions, visit MormonNewsroom.org.