Russia Samara Mission

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We are still collecting information on the Russia Samara Mission. If you served in this mission and are willing to share your experiences with us, please contact us at

Kazan, one of the larger cities in the Russia Samara Mission. Photo cc by-sa 3.0 by TY-214 at Wikimedia Commons.

Snapshot of Russia – Russian is the official language of Russia, though several other languages are given co-official status in certain regions, the most-spoken being Tatar and Ukrainian. The largest church in Russia is the Russian Orthodox Church, which claims about 40% of the population. Another 40% does not practice religion. Several other religions are also present, with certain southern regions having majority populations of Muslims or Buddhists. Russia has a rich and diverse history in areas such as architecture, literature, philosophy, science, music, and dance, especially ballet. Modern Russian rock and pop are also popular. Ice hockey, basketball, and soccer are all popular sports in Russia. Another popular activity is washing in banya steam bath houses. Some elements of folk culture remain, such as matryoshka dolls and other art forms. Russian cuisine is varied across the country, but several different types of bread are common. Soups (both hot and cold) are also popular parts of Russian meals, such as shchi, a cabbage and beef soup. Several meat dishes are also popular, such as shashlik (a marinated kebab) and pelmeni (dumplings filled with minced meat).

The Church

There are two districts located within the boundaries of the Russia Samara Mission. While the Church is small in the region, the branches in the area continue to grow. Members living in this area are currently served by the Kiev Ukraine temple.


Hot and cold soups, such as shchi or cabbage and beef soup, are commonly found in Russian meals. Breads, dumplings, cabbage, and potatoes are also popular staples. Most meat dishes are boiled and served as part of a stew or soup, though other dishes such as kotlety (a type of meatball) and shashlyk (a shish kebab) are also popular.



Missionaries serving in the Russia Samara Mission will generally rely on their own two feet or on public transportation to get around. Samara’s public transportation system includes a metro, buses, trams, and trolleys. Trains are often used for longer transfers.

A tram in Samara. Photo cc by 2.5 by Антон Буслов at Wikimedia Commons.


Just as in any other mission, missionaries should be aware of their surroundings and avoid dangerous neighborhoods. The Russia Samara Mission has had its share of newsworthy events, such as the kidnapping of two LDS missionaries in Saratov in 1998 (as portrayed in the film “The Saratov Approach”). Recently two missionaries were robbed in Engels. Missionaries should heed the promptings of the Spirit and be careful to avoid bad situations.


Russians love to celebrate holidays. New Year’s and Victory Day (May 9th) are two of the biggest holidays in Russia.

The Russian people have many traditions and superstitions, which tend to be more commonly practiced among the older generations and those who adhere to traditional religious beliefs.

Sports such as ice hockey, basketball, and football (soccer) are all very popular in Russia. The city Kazan is considered Russia’s sports capital.

Essential Equipment

Bring a pair of strong, sturdy shoes, as well as clothing that you can layer up with, such as wool socks, long underwear, and hats. The best winter-weather clothing can be purchased in Russia, so many missionaries recommend that you wait to purchase heavy coats or winter boots until you are in the mission field, unless you are arriving during the winter (in which case you should come prepared with some of your own winter gear).

Additional Info

The city of Kazan is home to many of the area’s most interesting sites, such as the Kazan Kremlin (a World Heritage site and popular tourist destination). Another interesting site in Kazan is the Temple of All Religions, a cultural center that incorporates architectural elements of an orthodox church, a synagogue, and a mosque. The Russian Orthodox churches are also interesting places to visit because of their beautiful architecture.

With Russia’s successful bid to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup, new football (soccer) stadiums are being built in Samara and Kazan in preparation for the event.

Part of the Kazan Kremlin.

Flag of Russia Samara Mission


Russian Federation
President Michael L. Schwab

Vodnikov Street 95-1
Samara oblast 443099

About 9 million
Russian Orthodox, Islam, Other Christian, Irreligious
Samara is humid, with warm summers and cold, snowy winters. While summertime temperatures often reach close to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, wintertime temperatures rarely get above freezing.
Samara, Tolyatti, Saratov, Kazan

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Did you serve in the Russia Samara Mission? If so we want to hear from you! Contact us at and share your unique experiences!