Maryland Baltimore Mission Alumni

  New Missionary Guide

So, you've been called to the Maryland Baltimore Mission. Congratulations. If you and the Lord work together for the next two years, you will weave a work that will be a strength and joy for you not only throughout this life, but in Eternity. I would like to satisfy your curiosity about the region with a little bit of experience from my mission.

Maryland is on the eastern coast, just north of Washington D.C. As it is right next to the Atlantic Ocean, the humidity is very high. High humidity makes the summers hotter, and the winters colder, especially if you are from the area of Utah, Nevada, or the drier areas of California.

There isn't much you can do about the summers. They will typically be hot and humid. I have a somewhat biased experience with this, since I was there during the national heat wave of 1995. At one point it was so hot, my companion's tie bled onto his shirt because of the sweat, but I expect the summers would not often be that hot.

The humidity also makes the winters very cold, but with proper planning this shouldn't be a problem. Bring a good overcoat with at least two layers, some good gloves, a scarf, and a hat, and you shouldn't have any problem with winter. (I have some experience with this as well, since in 1995 Baltimore City had one of the worst blizzards in twenty years.)

Maryland has a long history of Catholicism that dates back to colonial times. Several of America's significant Catholic points in history and some historic cathedrals are to be found in the state, and there is a high percentage of Catholicism in the population.

However, there is also a strong protestant following in the area as well. It is not uncommon to encounter Methodists, Episcopaleans, Anglicans, and especially Baptists in the course of contacting throughout the day (especially in the county areas).

Judaism also has a strong presence. Many areas of Maryland are largely Jewish. According to Elder Gregory Downey, Judaism can be found especially in the regions of Annapolis, Broadneck, Pasadena, Towson, Columbia, and sections of Baltimore City (e.g. East Pimlico, Rolling Hills, and Gilford), as well as other places in the state.

In the city of Baltimore itself, you will find people of these faiths, along with a strong following of Islam. Certain sections of town have a homogeneous religious culture. For instance, in some regions of town, it is not uncommon to encounter large groupings of almost exclusively Jewish people.

Maryland also has many historic sites throughout the mission. In the city of Baltimore itself stands the historic Fort McHenry, where the Star Spangled Banner was written during the War of 1812, and surrounding it are sites of numerous battles fought during this same war. Maryland was also one of only a few slave states to stay with the Union during the Civil War, and many battles from that war were fought in this area.

As one of the original thirteen colonies, and being so near Washington D.C. Maryland has national import and history as well. It would be a good idea to notice these things and sites on P-Day when you get the opportunity.

A word of practical advice: get into the habit of locking up your bicycle, car, house, and other valuables. It is not uncommon for bicycles to get stolen in the mission, and often it is because the missionaries do not take sufficient security precautions. Though my bicycle was never stolen, I knew several missionaries personally whose bicycles were, and I was on site when one of the mission's vehicles was stolen because sufficient precautions were not followed. I also had my laundry stolen once, though I am the only one I knew personally to whom that happened.

I hope this information is helpful. I want to again reiterate that you are about to embark upon one of the greatest experiences of your life. If there is any other information I can provide that you would like to see on the website, please e-mail me with your suggestion, and I will try to help you.

Elder Adam H. Peterson

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