I was called to serve as a missionary in the California San Diego Mission, with a special assignment to serve at the Mormon Battalion Historic Site.

You can see from the map what the area of the mission encompasses, with the majority of the wards/areas (the little red dots) being in San Diego. It is the southernmost mission in California.

Mission boundaries for the California San Diego Mission

As you can guess, the weather in San Diego is supposed to be close to heavenly. Farmer's Almanac named it one of the ten best climates in the United States, and The Weather Channel ranked it in the top two for best American climate. It has warm, dry summers and mild winters, with most of the annual precipitation falling between December and March. San Diego has mild, mostly dry weather, with an average of 201 days above 70 °F (21 °C) and low rainfall (9–13 inches [23–33 cm] annually).

The San Diego Skyline

There is one LDS temple in the mission — the San Diego Temple. It has always been a favorite of mine growing up, and I am happy that I will be so close to it.

The San Diego California Temple

The Mormon Battalion consisted of 500 men and 80 women and children who marched from Iowa, where Latter-day Saint pioneers spent an entire summer in 1846 struggling though adverse muddy conditions, since the Saints left their homes in Nauvoo, Ill., on their way to find "Zion".

On July 20, 1846, they left their loved ones behind in Council Bluffs, Iowa, to fight for a country the rest of their families were leaving — a country in a war with Mexico that needed the help of a people that it had previously turned its back on. The Battalion marched 2,000 miles to the Pacific coast, through what is now seven states and Mexico. Brigham Young prophesied that not one Battalion member would be lost in the march — a prophecy that came true on January 29, 1847, when the Mormon Battalion set its sights on the Pacific Ocean. The unit is the only religious military unit in American history.

A map of the Mormon Battalion's route
The monument that stands where they once were is where I will spend the next 18 months of my life. I hope I can feel closer to them and live with the same dedication they had to the Savior Jesus Christ.

Mormon Battalion links: