Church to create 36 new missions worldwide with full-time missionary numbers exceeding 72,000

Also, a policy adjustment now allows prospective missionaries to submit applications 150 days before availability date

With its more than 72,000 full-time missionaries exceeding pre-COVID-19 pandemic totals, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will add 36 new missions worldwide next summer to accommodate the growing numbers.

Joining the 414 existing missions across the globe, the addition of the new 36 will bring the total to 450 missions — the most ever in Church history.

Church leaders — including Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, who chairs the Missionary Executive Council, and Elder Marcus B. Nash, a General Authority Seventy who is executive director of the Missionary Department — spoke about the new missions and acknowledged missionary numbers in a media briefing Wednesday morning, Nov. 1, at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City. Additionally, Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Sister Amy A. Wright, first counselor in the Primary General Presidency — who both also sit on the Missionary Executive Council — attended the meeting.

The increase in missionary numbers — and the resulting addition of new missions — is attributed to President Russell M. Nelson’s call as Prophet and President of the Church for more missionaries, which he made in April 2022 general conference, said Elder Cook.

“We are incredibly grateful for the response we have seen by so many young people to our beloved Prophet’s clarion call for missionary service in April of last year,” Elder Cook said in a news release posted on “We are witnessing an increased enthusiasm for sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the world. These new missions, spread all around the world, will be a blessing locally as we desire to have more missionaries supporting the units of the Church.”

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Elders Dallin Nevers and Moses Yeung engage in full-time missionary work in London. | Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

New policy adjustment on application period

Church leaders participating in Wednesday’s media briefing also acknowledged a policy adjustment, with prospective new missionaries able to submit their missionary applications to the Church up to 150 days prior to their availability date, rather than the 120 days currently allowed.

The benefits of the change are multifold — giving prospective missionaries more time to prepare for their missions, shortening the period between a prospective missionary’s availability date and mission start date and helping to reduce visa delays for missionaries assigned to serve outside their home countries.

Missionary totals over four years

At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in late 2019 and early 2020, the Church counted some 69,000 young teaching and service missionaries and senior missionaries. The pandemic resulted in international closures and restriction and the resulting return of many missionaries — some released from service and others reassigned, mostly to home countries.

The number grew to 56,000 at the end of 2021, to 65,000 at the end of 2022, and to more than 72,000 today, which includes nearly 5,300 senior missionaries. Combined, today’s missionaries serve in more than 150 countries and teach in more than 60 languages.

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Sister missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints cheer on the parade participants during the annual Days of ’47 Parade in Salt Lake City on Monday, July 24, 2023. | Megan Nielsen, Deseret News

New missions and the Prophet’s clarion call

President Nelson, Elder Cook and several other Church leaders spoke during April 2022 general conference of missionary work, emphasizing service by young men, young women and senior couples.

In his Saturday morning session address, President Nelson taught that the gospel of Jesus Christ has never been needed more than it is today as “the only enduring solution for peace,” adding that Latter-day Saints have “the sacred responsibility to share the power and peace of Jesus Christ with all who will listen and who will let God prevail in their lives.”

Then came the call to the young men.

“Today I reaffirm strongly that the Lord has asked every worthy, able young man to prepare for and serve a mission,” he said, explaining that missionary service is a priesthood responsibility for Latter-day Saint young men. “You young men have been reserved for this time when the promised gathering of Israel is taking place. As you serve missions, you play a pivotal role in this unprecedented event!”

President Nelson also invited sisters to consider missionary service.

“For you young and able sisters, a mission is also a powerful but optional opportunity,” he said, expressing the Church leaders’ love for them and their wholehearted welcome. “What you contribute to this work is magnificent. Pray to know if the Lord would have you serve a mission, and the Holy Ghost will respond to your heart and mind.”

Reminding his “dear young friends” that “you are each vital to the Lord,” President Nelson said the decision to serve a mission — either proselyting or service — will bless each individual and many others.

He also welcomed senior couples to serve when circumstances permit.

“All missionaries teach and testify of the Savior,” he said. “The spiritual darkness in the world makes the light of Jesus Christ needed more than ever.”

Elders Adam Betancio and Luis Reyes do their missionary work in Mexico City.
Elders Adam Betancio and Luis Reyes do their missionary work in Mexico City on Friday, June 16, 2023. | Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

New missions, new mission leaders

The increase in missions will also result in the calling of 34 additional mission leadership couples, who will attend the 2024 Seminar for New Mission Leaders next June.

With more missions and leaders worldwide, mission leaders will have more interactions with missionaries, and more missionaries will be assigned to more local wards and branches.

The 36 new missions

The 36 new missions, to be created out of existing missions, will become effective July 1, 2024, and are in 18 of the Church’s 22 worldwide areas.

A map of the 36 new missions being created in 2024.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will create 36 new missions worldwide in 2024. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Listed by Church area, the new missions are:

Africa Central

  • Democratic Republic of the Congo Kinshasa South
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo Kolwezi
  • Kenya Nairobi East

Africa South

  • Madagascar Antananarivo North

Africa West

  • Ghana Accra North
  • Ghana Takoradi
  • Nigeria Calabar
  • Nigeria Port Harcourt North
  • Sierra Leone Bo


  • Cambodia Phnom Penh East
  • Thailand Bangkok East

Asia North

  • Japan Sendai


  • Brazil Manaus South


  • Dominican Republic Santo Domingo North

Europe Central

  • Germany Hamburg

Europe North

  • Portugal Porto


  • Mexico Mexicali
  • Mexico Puebla East

North America Central

  • Montana Missoula

North America Southeast

  • Florida Tallahassee
  • South Carolina Charleston

North America Southwest

  • Nevada Henderson
  • Texas Dallas South
  • Texas El Paso

North America West

  • California Modesto


  • Philippines Dumaguete
  • Philippines General Santos
  • Philippines Tuguegarao

South America Northwest

  • Bolivia Cochabamba South
  • Ecuador Quito West
  • Peru Lima Northeast

South America South

  • Argentina Tucumán
  • Chile La Serena


  • Utah Salt Lake City East
  • Utah Saratoga Springs
  • Utah Spanish Fork

Editor’s note: This article was updated on Jan. 16, 2024.

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