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Habits, mannerisms and cultural quirks that return home with missionaries

Each New Year’s Eve, Josh Ferrin and his family stay up late making “pelmeni,” or dumplings — a delicious delicacy he was introduced to as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Yekaterinburg, Russia. Pelmeni consists of little balls of dough filled with meat and, at the Ferrin house, an extra fun surprise.

“The custom is to hide something nasty in one of them, such as a piece of gum, a penny or fill it full of pepper,” Ferrin said. “Whoever eats it is going to have a really awesome year.”

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