President Thomas S. Monson lowered the age to serve a mission from 19 to 18 for men and from 21 to 19 for women during the October 2012 Conference. Applications to serve Latter-day Saint missions jumped 421 percent in the following weeks.
Latter-day Saints visiting Temple Square from Europe, Samoa and South America this week say missionary numbers are growing.
Latter-day Saints Thomas Lust and Oliver Teubner live in two different parts of Germany. They say President Monson’s October announcement is impacting their country as well.
“In out ward back home missionary numbers doubled. We had two sisters before. Now we have two sisters and two Elders and it seems to be the case in all the missions,” said Teubner who lives in the Frankfurt area.
“We are expecting for June two new sister missionaries to come to our ward, which we think is a very great blessing,” said Lust who lives in south Germany.
The number of missionaries has grown from about 55,000 in October 2012 to 64,373 as of March 2013. The increase is about 9,300 additional missionaries serving across the world.
Saints are anticipating another annoucement because of this change. “I anticipate a lot of new missions being announced,” said Latter-day Saint Heather Gardner from Davis County.
The LDS Church has already annouced 58 new missions February 22.
She is also anticipating, “...new temples because the Church is just exploding right now with all the new missionaries.”
More than 100,000 Latter-day Saints and guests will fill the Conference Center during five sessions this weekend as millions more listen to live translations of the talks into 94 different languages.
Church spokesman Scott Trotter could not comment on any possible announcements at the 183rd annual General Conference.