LDS Church creates 58 missions in response to surge in missionary applications
Deseret News, SALT LAKE CITY — In response to the enthusiastic reaction of young Latter-day Saints to last October’s announcement lowering the eligible age for full-time missionary service for both men and women, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is establishing 58 new missions of the church around the world.
An exclusive article in Saturday’s LDS Church News,available online, indicates that the "immediate and unprecedented" response to LDS Church PresidentThomas S. Monson's October announcement lowering the age of full-time missionary service to 18 for young men who are high school graduates and 19 for young women has pushed the total number of LDS missionaries currently serving around the world to more than 60,000 for the first time in more than a decade.
The number of young men and women applying to serve missions jumped nearly 500 percent after the change.
"We are thrilled with the response," Elder Russell M. Nelson of the church's Quorum of the Twelve told Church News reporter R. Scott Lloyd. "Our first feeling is one of deep gratitude for the commitment and the consecration of these missionary families."
The church is opening the 58 new missions in July, bringing the total number of LDS Church missions in the world to 405, to accommodate all of the new missionaries — including the surge expected following high school graduation this spring. Seventeen of the new missions are in the United States, including three in California and two each in Arizona, Idaho and Washington. Other locations around the world receiving multiple new missions are Mexico (eight), Brazil (seven), the Philippines (four) and western Africa (three).
Derek Lane Cordon and Bonnie Hillam Cordon are the parents of four children and are currently presiding over the Brazil Curitiba Mission; They are from the Bridlewood Ward, Bountiful Utah Orchard Stake. President Cordon served as a missionary in the Argentina Cordoba Mission from 1982-83. At the time of his calling he was a Director at Omniture, an Adobe Company. Born in Upland, Calif., to Nolan Ralph and Roberta Larsen Cordon.
Sister Cordon served as a missionary in the Portugal Lisbon Mission. Born in Idaho Falls, Idaho, to Harold Gordon and Carol Lois Rasmussen Hillam.