"Dear Sister Summers,
You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the Russia Novosibirsk Mission. It is anticipated that you will serve for a period of 18 months.
You should report to the Provo Missionary Training Center on Wednesday, November 20, 2013. You will prepare to preach the gospel in the Russian language."
One of the hardest places to serve a mission (or so I've heard). It's not that the people aren't friendly and wonderful (I'm sure there are great people anywhere you go in the world), it's just that Russia has a few things that will be hard to overcome:
1. The climate: This time of the year, Novosibirsk is positively balmy at a wonderful 67 degrees Fahrenheit and 68% humidity. However, when I arrive in January, the average temperature will be zero degrees Fahrenheit (not sure what the humidity will be like). Yikes. I can't even buy my winter clothes in the United States- they don't make anything warm enough here. Now just imagine me walkin' around in my thermal tights, wool-lined boots, and fur coat. It's going to be great :)
2. The language: As you know, I have been studying Spanish for a long time. My bilingual studies have made me pretty confident that I would be able to pick up another language fairly easily- French, Italian, Portuguese, even German has the same alphabet... not Russian though. Here's a google translation sample for you: Здравствуйте, меня зовут сестру Саммерс и я миссионером Церкви Иисуса Христа Святых Последних Дней. Yep. I'm pretty excited about that lovely thing right there :)
3. The culture: How much do you know about Russia? I frankly don't know a whole lot. I've seen Anastasia a million times, so I've got the Romanov dynasty down pat. I dressed up like Catherine the Great once for a AP European History thing so....that's good. I know that Soviet Union was over there. Something about a cold war... Oh, and there's a city that has been renamed a whole bunch of times- Petrograd, Leningrad, St. Petersburg. Yeah. That's what I know. I guess I better study it up!
The best part of my mission though? I know that it will be amazing. I am going to have challenges on every side and I wouldn't want it any other way. I've always been a stubborn, always-right kinda gal, and this mission will definitely humble me right down :) No seriously though, I feel like Heavenly Father really trusts me if He is willing to let me go to Russia and serve His children with all mi Corazon, alma, mente, y fuerza. (should I stop studying the scriptures in Spanish now? I guess I can get a Russian set... haha).
The church is true!