Chronic Runny Nose

Dear Everyone,

A big frosty hello from Novosibirsk this week! Actually, this week has
been suprisingly warm. Pretty similar to Montana this week from what I
hear. It was a nice and toasty -10 C which is rough 14 degrees F!

I have another question for someone to answer: why is it that when
it's cold, your nose runs? Shouldn't it be the opposite? You think the
temperature would freeze your boogers. Although my nose hairs have
been frozen at some points it doesn't stop the running.
Also nobody responded to my question about Bernadette Peters, and
Grandma Faye was the only one who responded about the number of layers
I'm wearing. She's very close but not quite. So somebody please be a
gem and do some research!

This week nothing super exciting happened. Except my birthday! I'm
officially 22. Weird eh? What's weirder is that I will spend my entire
22nd year of my life in Russia.Crazy! I woke up at 6:30 and opened my
package. I could hardly wait! A big thank you to MOM and Anna for the
lovely drawing. And of course the rest of the fam who contributed
fuzzy thoughts and hugs. Sister Biggs was really nice and made me a
nice chocolatey and marshmallowy cake. It was yummy. We had to share
it at the mission office because there was too much chocolate going on
for the two of us. We then had a goal for 4 member lessons and the 4th
of december. Unfortunately we did not quite make that goal because
some people bailed on us. But nonetheless it was very good. Our
investigator Jenya gave me a nice little flower (so Russian! they give
everyone flowers!) and my favorite member of the ward Vera gave me a
box of chocolate truffles! She's the best!

The rest of the week was filled with missionary work. Crazy eh? But
here are a couple random thoughts and highlights

- I was asked out by a 12 year old boy on the street. We were doing
English Club contacting in the park and this boy asked me to go play
in the snow with him and go on a walk. He then asked if I would be
going to the New Years Even Party in the center of Novo. He was a
little crushed when I told him I couldn't. I find it quite hilarious
that I'm getting asked out on more dates on my mission than before my
mission. haha. I can't tell you how many times people ask me if I have
a boy friend or If I need a husband cause they would happily marry me.
There are also several Babooshkas who want to set me up with their
grandsons, or their sons. haha. I had one lady tell me "that's too bad
you don't have a boyfriend. You're so beautiful." I about died
laughing. So if all else fails in life, I'll just come back to Russia!
haha Just kidding. A lot of people tell me to go find a husband in
america cause the men are better there and they don't drink and smoke
as much (probably true...)

-Russian TV: has anybody heard back from Kyle's interview thingy?
Because recently some sort of documentary came out on TV here about
Mormons. And it was apparently in collaboration with the government
here and the Provoslavnee Church (big russian orthodox church) and it
was pretty bad. They talked about how the temple, and tithing and how
they are paying americans, and the prophet and how everyone who
becomes a member is part of a cult.Oh and of course polygamy and
people have been asking me about it alot. It's been very hard to find
some people to teach! But the elders quoted something from Brigham
Young the other day in District meeting about how when we are under
persecution it only fuels us more and makes us work harder and faster
(or something to that extent) and let's be real. We all know the
Lord's side wins in the end! But anywhoo. Just a minor hiccup in the
missionary work this week.

-Health: I'm sorry that Aaron's health is not doing so well! Feel
better bud! But here in Russia health is a funny topic. When you eat
food at someone's house and you say "thank you. it's delicious!" they
tell you "With health!" and when you sneeze they say "be healthy! ( in
command form) of course it means bless you or excuse you but i think
it's pretty funny. People here always say that they are sick. Whether
they have a headache or a cut on their finger it means the same.
People are also kind of wimpy when it comes to being sick. Many people
don't come to church cause they are "Pre-sick" or can't meet cause
they are sick. But in reality it's just a little something maybe a
little cough or a headache. In america you go to work and school
unless you are puking. Or super contagious. But you just kind of deal
with it. But my health has never been better! Although I'm probably
second hand smoking at least 1 or 2 cigarettes a day Sister Biggs and
I have been eating very well and getting sleep and exercising. I've
actually been losing weight! And another funny thing. When people tell
you that you look like you've lost weight. In america I would say. "Oh
really? Thank you!" but here I said "thank you!" and the members
replied, "for what? are you or are you not losing weight?" and then I
said "yes, just a little." and they say "your mom is not going to be
able to see you when you come home!" "you better eat some more food or
you are going to be sick!" but no worries. I'm positive that you'll be
able to see me when I get home and I'm not getting sick!

-I've hit my 6 month mark on the mission. I'm officially 1/3 done.
Crazy to think. Has it flown by for you too?

-This week I've been studying about how to be successful missionary,
it's been a little difficult with lack of investigators and baptisms
and all that jazz but I've learned something very important. It's all
about the spirit! As long as I feel the spirit as I'm teaching,
studying and working with people I'm being successful. Maybe these
people aren't going to accept the gospel right away or while I'm
working with them, but as long as I'm loving and serving them and
helping them have spiritual experiences then I'm being successful. I
can truly say that I love the people here, the people we're working
with, the people in the ward and the missionaries here and I'm
striving each day to listen to more fully the promptings of the spirit
and helping others recognize the spirit. So I challenge all of you,
maybe you feel like you're not being successful, or you're having a
rough time. Evaluate your relationship with the holy ghost. Are you
feeling his presence? Are you loving and serving others? I'm pretty
sure if you start working on loving, serving, and strengthening your
relationship with the Holy Ghost it will be better! I love you all! I
know this church is true! I'm so grateful for it! And to be a

Sister Carling

Me and Mama Frost in the park by our house
me and my birthday presents from Jenya and Vera
me and my birthday sign and birthday diet coke!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Yes folks that is right. It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas.
Well it has been for like a month now with all this snow but in case
you were wondering what Christmas looks like in Novosibirsk Russia
visualize this...
- 3 feet of snow outside.
-lots of gray buildings
-people decked out in fur. like everywhere. hats, boots, coats, gloves
everything is furry.
-lots of people shoveling. which seems to be pointless because it just
keeps snowing.
-and pretty much like normal russia. People here don't really
celebrate christmas like they do in America. But I'm here to change
that. Apparently new years is the bigger holiday here. but Last monday
we decked out our apartment in Christmas decorations. Missionaries old
and young have been living in our apartment for like the last 6 years
so there is a lot of random crap left around. We saw a christmas tree
in a closet and this huge bag and we opened up the bag and there is
like a bajillion christmas decorations. Needless to say we went a
little crazy. We have lights hanging around our apartment. Snowman
table cloths on the kitchen table and our area book desk. 2 small
christmas trees. Stockings taped to the wall. And tinsel everywhere.
It's very classy. But it makes me happy. We plug in the lights while
we're studying and at night during planning and it's just so cozy and

Now it's time to play a game.
Let's guess how many layers sister carling is wearing! First one to
write me back with the correct amount gets a souvenier!
This is counting, how many socks, tights, thermals and pairs of
underwear I'm wearing. Plus skirts and sweaters and shirts. I assure
you this will probably one of the funnest games you've ever played!
(ps-everyone is welcome to email me. just make sure you put your
address so I can send you a letter back!)

-hey mom- random thought. can you send me some recipes? like grandma's
cinnamon rolls, the yummy brown butter frosting I made last year off
of pinterest and yummy stuff you can cook with cabbage and potatoes?

This week has kind of been depressing. Not going to lie. We're kind of
in this sticky position. No one is really progressing and it's been
really hard to find new investigators/ appointments and it's been a
really nice toasty temperature outside of about -20 or -25 Degrees
Celcius which is about freezing cold on a scale of cold to butt cold.
haha. Yesterday I was told that one of our investigators didn't come
to church because she is sick of everyone hounding her about baptism
and us talking about it. She's been coming to church since her Son (
who's a member) passed away in March but for some reason feels like
she needs time before she committs to baptism. I thought we were
getting closer to uncovering her doubts and answering her questions
and concerns but I've seemed to push her further away. Needless to say
yesterday I cried a little. I feel terrible because I've just been
trying to be a good missionary, work hard and help and serve people
but so far nothing has really come out of it. No one seems to be
progressing from it.

But it's alright. It's December! The best month of the year! My
birthday is tomorrow! And to celebrate we are having 4 investigator
lessons with a member present! To Celebrate the 4th of December! It's
going to be epic. Sometimes heavenly father gives us trials and
humbles us so that we learn and grow more. I've decided that this is
probably one of those times. I'm going to learn as much as I can from
this experience and just work harder and I know the Lord will bless

I'm grateful for our savior Jesus Christ. I'm grateful for his birth
and this is a wonderful time of the year to reflect on his birth, his
life, his ministry and his atonement!  I challenge you all to remember
what Christmas is all about and use this month as a time to serve
those around you. To help and uplift those who are dreary and down
trodden. Reach out to those inactives. Share the message of our Savior
Jesus Christ with those you know. It's an incredible gift we've been
given. To know who we are. Where we come from. Why we are here and we
we are going. I know the Savior lives and loves me and he loves all of
you. I'm grateful for all your love and support!


Sister Carling

Yoga Pants and Skirts

Dearest Family and Friends,

Big Privet from me in siberia!
Another crazy week in Siberia has come and gone. Time seriously flies
when you are having fun!

Highlights of the week:

Just when I thought it couldn't snow no more. It did. I literally have
never seen so much snow in my life! Every day I walk through ankle
high snow if somebody hasn't shoveled- but last night I decided to
stray from the path home and jump in to a clear spot of grass. I was
in snow up to my knees. It was great. The nice thing though- or at
least what people keep saying. If it snows. It's warm. Because it gets
to a point where it is too cold to snow. So that's comforting to hear
: ) Pray for more snow. lol. In a lesson the other day our 16 year old
ward missionary Kasoosha thanked heavenly father for the great
weather. I kind of snickered. Boy am I in for a winter!

So last week I told you how everyone was dressed up in snowsuits. The
cute little chubby kids. Guess what. It got cuter. They have SLEIGHS!
Like you see parents pulling their little kids in these little
sleighs. It's hilarious. They are all buckled it and sometimes
screaming or crying but it's adorable. They also have like ski
attachments to strollers. So instead of wheels its on skiis! I see
some people put their groceries on sleighs and walk them home. I need
to get one of these sleigh things.

Today I saw a lady wearing snow pants and high heels.

And in case you were wondering. Yoga pants fit under my skirt and into
my boots. The newest greatest idea for staying warm.

Mom- funny thing you mentioned Cinderella on broadway. (ps we have to
go when i get back) Sister Biggs and I were drinking our nightly
herbal tea and doing planning and we had the song "Lovely Night" stuck
in our heads and we went through the entire soundtrack and talked
about how much we loved the Cinderella movie with Brandi and how weird
it was that the Prince was asian and how his mom was whoopi goldberg
and that one guy with gray hair was his dad (what's his name?) and
then realized the best part was that Whitney Houston was the fairy
godmother (RIP whitney) and we got all sad for a second but sang all
the songs and then started talking about Bernadette Peters and how we
like her and Sister Biggs said she died. I don't believe that. But
will someone look that up for me? And also you should watch that movie
for me. Cause it's really good. And yes mom. I was thinking of you as
I was singing Impossible! in my best whitney houston voice!

Our 8 week english group finished and so now  we are contacting and
trying to find new people to come to english club! So we in the past
have stood out in a busy park with a sign and talked to people in
english and gotten their numbers and stuff. It's way fun. Except when
it's -9 celcius (16 farenheit). And then we met this cute kid Alexsey
he's 11. He was funny. He looked like the kid off the christmas story.
this little fuzzy hat. a little chubby and he was carrying his violin.
He talked to us for a while and then suggested we have a snowball
fight. And then this kid went crazy. For the next 45 min he kept
throwing snow balls at me and just laughing. And then he'd run away
and he just laughed and laughed and threw more snowballs. I'm not
going to lie. I threw back but then I realized that wasn't helping.
And it's not what Jesus would do. Finally the elders showed up and we
got out of it but man! The kid did not understand the words. NO. STOP.

This week I've learned alot. Unfortunately I've learned that from
mistakes. Taking the wrong bus. Spending 3 hours in traffic and
missing appointments. And other things like that. But the great thing
is. I've learned better! I feel like I've greatly increased my
knowledge and the layout of this city. The best transport options and
how to work with members. But I've realized- it's okay to make
mistakes. We learn a lot out of them and then we know better. And
thanks to the atonement of Christ we are forgiven for our weaknesses
and they are made stronger (ether 12:27) It's a pretty great thing.

But on one occassion were we spent 3 hours in traffic and got lost, we
found a subway. Like the food place. And so we decided- we missed our
appointment. Dinner and we need to head home soon. Let's eat. Make
some phone calls and figure out how to get back. While in subway I
thought of you Mom! they played this Sting song. DubStep-ified. It was
pretty catchy. I miss music alot. I can't decide if I want to get
crazy into christmas music this year. ( i know that's so not me) but
I'm not going to lie. Listening to certain christmas songs makes me a
little homesick. So i've decided to listen to christmas music that is
different from what we would normally listen to. And i'm going to make
this christmas a russian christmas and not think about christmas
traditions in america. It's going to be great! And I'm pretty sure
there will definitely be a white christmas here. I'm hoping for a
"white christmas" with my investigators too. All dressed in white in
the baptismal font! They are so ready they just need to exercise a
little more faith and heavenly father will help them make this next

Speaking of holidays,
Thanksgiving was really nice. All 28 missionaries and senior couples
in NOVO had dinner at presidents house. It was really nice. And yummy.
No sweet potatoes though. I'm not going to lie. I was little
heartbroken. But they had yummy rolls! We had a little musical
interlude between dinner and dessert! Kind of reminded me of a taggart
christmas eve! It was great. Sister Biggs and I made an apple pie. We
had no pie tin so it was more like a casserole but it was delicious! I
was very impressed with our culinary skills.

Sorry this email is a little scattered and crazy but the work is
really going here. We've been very busy this week and it's just going
to get better from here! i can feel it! I love you all! Hope you had a
wonderful Thanksgiving!

Sister Carling

Goodbyes. New Transfer. And lots of snow.

Dearest Family and other people who love me,

I feel like everyweek I say this, but this week has been CRAZY! Crazy
awesome and crazy good of course. Siberia is just heating up- with
missionary work that is!

So in case you were wondering about the title. SNEG- or spelled in
Russian- снег - is snow. And man alive. I'm pretty sure I've never
seen more of it in my life. For reals. Don't worry folks. I'm still
fine and dandy and warm actually. It's only -3 celcius. And with my
coat and walking around I actually sweat sometimes. But It's been
snowing the perfect snow man making snow EVERY DAY this week. At least
just a little bit. There's probably at least a foot or two of snow on
the ground. The shovel it but then it just piles up again. The sides
of the road have HUGE mountains of shoveled snow. I kept thinking to
myself. What are they going to do the rest of the winter? Is it just
going to keep piling up? But lo and behold last night I found my
answer. They use BULL DOZERS! I saw this huge bull dozer scooping up
snow near the office and putting into huge garbage like trucks and
then they drive away with the snow. i don't know where it goes but at
least it's not in the parking lot anymore.

It's actually quite adorable. All this snow. I feel like I'm in a
Christmas movie. Mom you would love it. All these little kids bundled
up in snow suits. Just like on the "Christmas Story" I'm not kidding-
this kids are fat. haha. And the parents have snow suits too. I'm
hoping I can convince president gibbons to let me wear a snow suit in
January when I'm contacting. But the people are LOVING this weather.
Everyone keeps saying It's so warm today. In Montana everyone would be
dying. haha. And complaining about how much snow there is but you see
families out walking around all bundled up and playing in the snow and
making snow men and snow bears! It's great. I try and go talk to them
while they are building but they always think I'm crazy/ creepy. But I
have this idea for a contacting activity. I'm going to make a Snow
temple and a snow family and then as people walk by tell them how they
can be with their families for ever. Genius right? I thought so too.

This week We had 5 sisters living us. Tuesday morning I get a call
from the office elders saying. "Hey, so just so you know the Omsk
sisters are going to be at your appartment in like 5 minutes." I'm
like hmm. Well alright! Sister Barnes and my companion were flying out
to Kazakstahn on Saturday and Sister Thornhill is training but her new
companion from the MTC doesn't come until this week cause of visa
issues. So we got to chill all week together but then Sister Biggs my
new companion came to move in this week too. let me tell you it was
nuts. Having basically all of my best friends at my house and doing
missionary work couldn't get any better. Except for the fact that we
needed to find plans for 2 companionships and say good bye to all of
the people sister barlow wanted to see not to mention she had to pack,
and sister biggs needed to unpack. But all is well. I had to learn
patience this week. And humility. Despite all of my awesome planning
things do not go according to plan and you just have to deal with it
and roll with the punches. But we said Dosveedanya to Barnes and
Barlow and they are in the warm and sunny city of Almaty and for now
its just Biggs and Thornhill and I. That is untill Wednesday when all
the new missionaries from the MTC get here.

This week is Thanksgiving! I'm very lucky and blessed to be in
Novosibirsk because I get to have dinner at Presidents house! And that
means it's going to be real thanksgiving dinner. Other cities are
doing their own thing- and own cooking so I kind of feel bad for them.
But since it's the week of Thanksgiving and a holiday of gratitude I
just want to bear my testimony. Because I'm grateful for my Testimony.
I'm grateful for all that the Lord has blessed me with. It's pretty
crazy how much he's done for us. And every day I understand that a
little bit more and more and it seriously blows my mind! It's nuts!
I'm so grateful for my family and that we are sealed together forever.
I'm grateful for the Book of Mormon and the truth it contains. I'm
grateful for the Prophet Joseph Smith and his courage and obedience
and the fact that he restored the true church of God onto the earth.
I'm grateful for our savior, for his atoning sacrifice. It's amazing
that the atonement is not only for retaining remission of our sins but
also a strengthing gift. If we rely on the atonement we can become
better people, the Lord can make our weaknesses strong (Ether 12:27).
I'm grateful for a living prophet today who leads and guides us. I'm
grateful for the chance I have to serve a mission. To serve these
humble people of Siberia. I'm grateful for wool, for keeping me warm.
I'm grateful for the animals who gave their lives to keep me warm on
my hat and coat. I'm grateful for Russian bread and it's
deliciousness. I'm grateful for this branch I'm working with and the
friendly and loving babooshkas who are taking care of me while I'm
away from home. I'm grateful for snow! Because it's beautiful! I'm
grateful for computers because even though I'm far away I can still
talk to you guys and you can talk to me! I have a million other things
I'm grateful for but I'm gonna save you the time from reading this
really long letter. But I love you all and I challenge you all to
think about what you are grateful for this week. And to think about
all the many wonderful blessings the lord has given you. Because there
are a lot!

love your favorite sister missionary,

Moscow and Finland Pics

Visa Trip #1

Dearest Family and people who love me,

Today it's like a big wet blizzard and my book of mormon in my hand is
covered in snow. I need to fix that. But it's a beautiful day in

This week has been CRAZY!


Basically Monday-Wednesday were jam packed with lessons and meetings
with members and zone training and all this great stuff so that we
could get ready for the weekend! To sum it all up we still have 2
solid investigators who are afraid to committ to baptism. And a really
awesome new investigator Katya who got a book of mormon from some
elders a long time ago and has been reading it ever since! She wants
to be baptized and we're working on a date. Basically the meeting was
very incredible and she talked about how she used to be Buddhist and
how she learned it's not really a religion but more of a philosophy
and so she's been searching and she feels the spirit in the Book of
Mormon and when she meets with us and feels that it's right! It can't
get any better than that right?! So anywhoo. I'll let you know how
that all works out. We also have a baptismal date with Nadexjda's
husband Valeree and they live in Berdsk and guess what. Berdsk is
going to have a branch! Elder Bunnell (my pal from the MTC) and Elder
Leonhardt are opening up the city this next transfer! It's so great
but I'm kind of sad to leave all my wonderful people who live in
Berdsk! But I have a feeling they might need some help and I might
still get to see them every once in a while : )

So you're probably wondering why we had to get ready for the Weekend.
As you know Russian Visas are tricky. And they are only good for 3
months. So every three months I have to leave the country and get a
new one! So can you believe it's already been 3 months in Russia? It
seems like 2 days but also my whole life sometimes. Time is a really
weird thing. So anywhoo- me and about 23 other of my fellow
missionaries who also needed visas headed to FINLAND! I never in my
life thought I'd go to Finland. Well and Russia for that matter. But
look at me now!

Visa trip is a weird thing. Because You're still a missionary but
you're not doing missionary work. And you're hanging out with all
these others missionaries. I kind of felt like EFY on crack again or
something. It's a weird feeling but a lot of fun. Which is probably
why it feels so weird.. haha

So we left Thursday Morning for Moscow and had a 6 hour layover. I sat
next to this dad and his daughter who were flying to Moscow to see-
THE JONAS BROTHERS! haha. Weird right? She made a video and won
tickets to go see them! She had asked her dad like a year or 2 ago to
fly to america to see them and he told her no but promised her that if
they were ever in Russia he'd take her (thinking they would never
come) Lo and behold they came to Moscow! He had to pay for the plane
tickets but they got to meet and greet them. They were a way cool
family. I gave him a Book of Mormon and he was really interested. Only
problem is he lives in a city without missionaries. But he'll be ready
when they come!

Anywhoo- Flash foward to Moscow- 6 hr layover. What do you do?
Run to RED SQUARE! We hopped on this train and then on the metro and
had about 2 hours to walk around red square take lots of pictures. Buy
some souveniers and eat McDonalds. (they don't have one in siberia...)
It was crazy to be there. It's a place I've seen so many pictures of
and have wanted to visit but I finally got to go! Then we ran back to
the airport went through security and hopped on the plane to Finland!

We got to Finland at like 11:00 at night Novo time but it was only 5 o
clock pm in Finland. We stayed at this hostel were the olympics were
and got some food and that was pretty much it. Everyone speaks english
there and it's so clean and beautiful. We were all commenting on how
the streets were even and not filled with holes and how we didn't
smell cigarette smoke or beer. On the way to the grocery store we
actually ran into some Elders serving in Finland! (don't worry their
okay) All like 15 of us. They were way cool.

Friday- Our flight didn't leave until 6:50 that night so what do you
do in Finland for 12 hours? You go exploring! A group of 13 of us
headed to the ISLAND. We hopped on this little ferry and the sun was
shining and it was so beautiful. The island is like this old military
base thingy. I'm not quite sure. Basically there's cannons and bunkers
and it kind of looks like The Lord of the Rings they have little caves
built into these big green hills and it's just really beautiful. We
walked around for a while and played and took lots of pictures. Then
headed back for mainland Helsinki. We went to the American Food Store
and to the post office (christmas is coming....keep your eyes
peeled...) and then had a chinese buffett and hit up H&M. Then we went
to the Temple! The helsinki temple is so beautiful! IT's so cool
because the signs and all the books and things on the doors are
written in Finnish and Russian. And it's just this beautiful little
temple and it has this dark beautiful wood trimming and it was so
great to be in there! We did some initiatories and one lady did it in
English, one in Russian and one in finnish! It was a neat experience.
Then we literally RAN back to the airport. It's hard to stay on time
with 13 people in your group and we were cutting it very close to make
it to the airport in time. We flagged down a bus and ran through
security and made it to the terminal with like 10 min to spare. It was
a little scary but good thing prayers are answered and God loves his
missionaries. We flew to Moscow and chilled for a few hours and then
flew to Novo arriving at 8:30 am and tired as heck. So we slept and
ate and showered and sent some missionaries off onto trains back to
their cities and then tried to do missionary work. It's kind of really
hard when you have jet lag and it's snowing. Sister Barlow and I were
stopping by some inactives and just walking down the street like

But all is well. I'm rested and recovered, I think. But this week is
transfers so we'll likely have some craziness happening and I have to
send Sister Barlow off to sunny kazakhstan but all is well. I'm
excited to be back and to get to work. Lots of stuff to do and new
people to find, teach and baptize!

I know this church is true and it's really a gospel of happiness. In
our meeting with Katya she said that was one of the things that
impressed her about our church. It's of happiness. She said other
churches believe that you have to suffer and suffer and that's the
only way to return to God. But we know that's not true. Although it
will be hard and we will go through trials, this gospel is of
happiness. God loves us and wants us to be happy. I know that if we
live the principles and commandments of the gospel we really truly can
be happy. Sometimes I wonder why I'm so happy. This work is hard.
Siberia is cold. People are not always nice. But I realized I am so
happy because I really can see God's hand in my life and I get to see
his hand work in other people's lives to. I love you all and am so
grateful for your support and love and letters. Keep up the good work!
: )

Sister Carling