Thursday, January 15, 2009

OFF to "Down Under"

Jo and Gary ~ Welfare Missionaries ~ Off to Perth

My sister Jo and her husband Gary left today for an LDS mission in Perth, Australia. They retired, sold their businesses, their boat and cars in order to embark on a new adventure of service for their church. They were unable to sell their home but Jo's childhood friend Marianne and her husband will be living in it for eighteen months.

They are leaving behind five grandchildren, will miss the birth of a baby girl in March, and the baptism of their oldest granddaughter in September.

Their son Chris is currently working on his MBA at Wharton College in Philadelphia. The plan is that Jo and Gary will finish their mission and be home in time to attend Chris's graduation.

Jo's newest grandson ~ Chubby Cheeks Henry ~ son Chris

There was a farewell at church and a retirement/farewell party at their home. They've given up a life of comfort, family, golf and boating to devote 18 months serving their fellowmen.

Farewell to American Spreads like this one!

Bye to family. Son-in-law Joel, granddaughter Sydney,

daughter-in-law Kate with baby Henry,

and son Chris

Bye to Daughter Angie, son-in-law Dan, Alaina and Brooks

(Baby due in March)


Hello to the world of Kangaroos, Kookaburras, Koalas and Crocodiles

Perth is the fourth largest city in Australia with a population of 1.5 million. It is on the southwest coast of the continent. Perth receives moderate though highly seasonal rainfall. Summers are generally hot and dry, lasting from late December to late March, with February generally being the hottest month of the year, making Perth a classic example of a Mediterranean climate (average 86 degrees F).

Perth's population is notable for the high proportion of British-born residents. Perth is also home to less than 5,000 Latter-day Saints, but it does have an LDS Temple.

While Perth has a diverse ethnic population, English is the national language, so it won't be necessary to learn a foreign tongue. It will be a great experience for a terrific couple. Good luck, God bless, and G'day Mateys!


KatieM said...

what a great post! I still can't believe they're gone.. (frown).. but it was such a great month sharing all the "farewell" festivities with you and them. Here's to down under for 18 months! Giddyup!


Perth Accommodation said...

No doubt Perth will welcome them with open arms. As long as they are ready for the liklely big 'lifestyle' change they will be fine. It certainly is a different way of life over here... I like to think more lay back and relaxed. All thh best. Jamie P.A.

PI said...

How brave of them but it's good that they have each other. My best wishes for a safe trip and tell them to wave to our son and family over the other side in Brisbane.

gramakas said...

Wow, what a life changing adventure they have set out on. My husband and I are trying to get our "ducks in line" so we might be in a position to join your sister (and lots of other Seniors) sometime late summer or early fall. Austrailia would be a great place to serve. My best wishes will be prayed their way.

Keri(th) said...

What a wonderful adventure. I'm sure their lives will be blessed with happiness and peace!