No new territories or countries are being opened to missionary work. Rather, the 58 new missions will be merged with the 347 existing ones. The new missions will function in the same areas. There will now be 405 missions around the world.
Occasionally the Church opens, closes and divides missions as the number of missionaries serving fluctuates.
In October 2012, the President of the LDS Church, Thomas S. Monson, announced that the age requirement for missionaries would be lowered. Thousands of young, potential missionaries responded excitedly to the announcement.
“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,” said Elder Russell M. Nelson, Chairman of the Missionary Executive Council.
The Church is now working to accommodate the increase in numbers of missionaries who plan to serve.
The LDS Church’s missionary program is well-known. Missionaries are often recognized by their black nametags, and can be seen in streets all across major cities around the world, as well as in smaller communities. The missionary program is based off of the New Testament pattern of missionary work. Missionaries serve in pairs, serving, teaching and baptizing believers in the name of Jesus Christ.