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