Heading to go teach English in Moscow soon? Are you LDS and want to attend a ward? Keep reading!
International Language Programs (ILP for short) isn't affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, but lots of our volunteers are LDS! So it makes sense that lots of our volunteers living in Moscow are interested in attending church during their semester abroad.
Pst: Do you want to volunteer abroad in Russia? Come fill out an application!
Especially since there aren't any LDS temples in Russia, church becomes important (though volunteers are welcome to visit other temples in Europe while on vacation!) Americans living in Moscow have a couple different options with attending church — you can choose between these rad options:
- The International Branch
- The Local Russian ward
Attending the International Branch
There's an international branch in Moscow available for the (many) foreigners living there. And guess what? It's all held in English! It's really fun to visit a foreign speaking ward, but after a couple months (or a couple hours) you'll realize that it's difficult to focus for an entire church service if you don't speak Russian.
It may be hard to picture before you get there (especially if you can't wait to start learning about the Russian culture), but it will be nice to hear English once a week. While being totally immersed in the culture is one of the biggest benefits of volunteering with ILP, it's also nice to settle into a few hours of something familiar.
Plus, you will get to meet people from all over the world. Americans aren't the only foreigners in Russia! Past volunteers have raved about how friendly the branch is, like Kristin S:
"That ward was the best! It takes a while to get there but it was so worth it to be surrounded by people who speak English for a few hours every week. That ward is full of amazing people. They all helped with the homesickness so much."
You'll most likely be assigned home teachers, receive a calling, or give a talk. This is a great way to stay involved in your church services even while living on the other side of the world.
It can take some time to get to church, depending on where you live. In the past many volunteers have had to travel around an hour on the metro to attend the branch, but it's worth it. The bishop in the past has been mindful of new ILP volunteers arriving each semester and has sent someone to help volunteers find their way to church on the first week.
Emily taught primary at the branch — so fun!
Attending a local Russian ward
We may have talked up the International Branch quite a bit ... but even if you mainly attend that ward, don't miss out on the opportunity to attend a local ward at least once! Get the authentic experience of attending a ward in another country and culture. See how even with cultural differences there, the message of the Gospel doesn't change.
There are a few different wards, but you can choose one that is closest or one that other members of your ILP group want to attend because the members of the ward are so nice! They are excited to have visitors and hope that you'll attend more than just a week or two. Sometimes, there will be someone who can translate the meetings for you so that even if you don't speak Russian, you can still understand the messages.
There are wonderful members to make friends with at these wards as well. Make some local friends who also maybe will invite you over for an authentic Russia meal in their home (like blini)- if you're lucky enough!
Are you ready to dive in and actually experience Russia? Come learn more about teaching English there (and vacationing all over) with ILP!