Here are free resources about the Australia Brisbane Mission:
- Mission address and phone number
- Mission map
- Missionary blogs
- Facebook groups
- LDS Mission t-shirts and gifts
- List of past mission presidents
- Cultural articles written by returned missionaries
- Survey with RMs
*Other Mission Pages: Australia LDS Missions.
Brisbane Mission Address
Here’s a recent address for the Australia Brisbane Mission. We try to keep this information up to date, but it’s a good idea to check the mission address with several sources, including your mission packet or the mission office.
Australia Brisbane Mission
PO Box 348
Hamilton QLD 4007
Australia Brisbane Mission
7/146 Racecourse Road
Ascot QLD 4007
Phone Number: 61-7-3268-7077
Mission President: President Mark E. McSwain
Australia Brisbane Mission Map
Here’s a link to the mission map for the Brisbane Mission (LDS). To access the official, up-to-date LDS.org map for the Brisbane Mission
Australia Brisbane Missionary Blogs
Here’s a list of LDS missionary blogs for the Brisbane Mission. This blog list includes the missionary’s name, URL and when their mission blog was updated.
Australia Brisbane Mission Groups
Here are Australia Brisbane Mission Groups- for LDS missionary moms, returned missionaries, mission presidents and other alumni of the Brisbane Mission.
- Australia Brisbane Mission The Ockey’s Group (197 members)
- Australia Brisbane Mission (Belliston) Group (147 members)
- Brisbane Mission – Hori Harvey Years Group (132 members)
- Australia Brisbane Mission 2013-2016 Group (126 members)
- Australia Brisbane Mission (Liddicoat) Group (115 members)
- Australia Brisbane Mission – Pres. Ballard Group (65 members)
- Australia Brisbane Mission Facebook Group (37 members)
- Brisbane Mission Moms and Friends (LDS) Group (13 members)
- Brisbane Australia Mission Family and Friends 2014 (5 members)
Australia Brisbane Mission T-Shirts
Here are T-shirts for the Australia Brisbane Mission!
Shirt designs include Australia Brisbane Mission logo/emblem shirts and Called to Serve shirts. The shirts make great gifts for pre-missionaries, returned missionaries and missionaries currently serving. LDS Mission shirts come in all sizes: Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large, up to 4XL. The mission designs are printed on white shirts and are shipped to you.
*Simply click on a shirt design to view the details and submit an order. The designs on mission t-shirts may also be printed on other LDS mission gifts, including: Australia Brisbane missionary aprons, Christmas stockings, ties, pillow cases, teddy bears and Christmas ornaments.
Australia Brisbane Mission Presidents
Here’s a list of current and past Mission Presidents of the Brisbane LDS Mission.
- 2016-2019, Mark E. McSwain
- 2013-2016, Lon E. Henderson
- 2010-2013, Fritjof F. Langeland
- 2007-2010, Grant S. Richards
- 2004-2007, James E. Phillips
- 2001-2004, William R. Fox Jr.
- 1998-2001, Gail Winn Ockey
- 1995-1998, Angus H. Belliston
- 1992-1995, Geoffrey J. Liddicoat
- 1989-1992, Hori Harvey
- 1986-1989, Robert G. West
- 1983-1986, Leon T. Ballard
- 1980-1983, Dennis Don Flake
- 1977-1980, Keith Hubbard
- 1974-1977, Robert F. Wall
- 1972-1974, J. Martell Bird
- 1968-1970, R. Don Smith
- 1965-1968, Horace D. Ensign
Australia LDS Statistics (2015)
- Church Membership: 143,891
- Missions: 6
- Temples: 5
- Congregations: 303
- Family History Centers: 145
Helpful Articles about Australia
Australia Brisbane Missionary Survey
Here are survey responses from Australia Brisbane RMs, to give you a snapshot into what it’s like to live in the mission.
When did you serve?
- 2015-2017 (Jackson)
- 2013-2015 (Trevor)
- October 2011-2013 (Taylor)
- June 2000-December 2001 (Henao)
- 1996-1998 (Folola)
- 1992-1994 (Joshua)
- 1992-1993 (Hazel)
- 1985-1986 (Mark)
- 1984 1986 (Kenneth)
- 1983-1984 (Scott)
- 1977-1979 (Ronald)
What areas did you serve in?
- Ipswich: Forest Lake, Bellbird Park, Yamanto. Brisbane: Enoggera, Bunya Forest, Logan: Loganholme. Redlands: Cleveland. (Jackson)
- Brisbane City, Toowoomba, Ipswitch. (Henao)
- Brisbane, Gold Coast, Ipswich, etc (Folola)
- Toowoomba, Marsdwn, Park ridge Qld ABM. Levin, NZWM. (Hazel)
- Brisbane, Surfers Paradise, Rockhamption, Mackay, Kingaroy and Murillumbah. (Mark)
- Mackay, Ipswich, Redcliffe, Bowen,Proserpine Goodna. (Kenneth)
- Townsville, Indooroopilly, Asheville, McKay, etc.I cannot remember them all. (Ronald)
What were some favorite foods?
- Chop Suey, Lasagna. (Jackson)
- Polynesian food. Taro, corned beef, rice. Mangos passionfruit too. (Trevor)
- Lamb. Roasted Veggies. Sandwich Melts. Nando’s Chicken. (Taylor)
- In the Samoan program in Ipswitch where I was training, we were treated with Panipopo……….It was the most delicious scones I ever tasted. (Henao)
- 1) Island foods 2) Sister Dorothy Watts apple pie & cheese cake 3) cook my own. (Folola)
- Breaded flake (type of fish) with chips. Mince meat pies. (Joshua)
- Sunday Roast Dinner! Have allergies to gluten/dairy. Would make eating on a mission challenging… If you suffer; offer recipes to members & DF/GF food to help them make food you can eat. Or, tell them you will bring your own food, & still participate in the mealtime. Don’t eat food you know will make you unwell. (Hazel)
- I love mangos passion fruit and every day I mixed up some orange mango concentrate for lunch. Meat pies, and works burgers, fish and chips were top notch. Aussie sausages are the best. (Scott)
- Pumpkin, BBQ. (Kenneth)
- Curries, spaghetti bolynaise, and French toast. (Mark)
- Passion Fruit, anything made with passion fruit, and more passion fruit. (Ronald)
What was a funny experience?
- We went door knocking one day, and I knocked on this one guys door, and he came out yelling at us “I’m not interested!” and then he slams the door. Me and my companion then turn around and just as we do so, he opens the door again and yells, “And no musical knocks!” (Jackson)
- When I was training and we had to run away from dogs near a waist high fence. I jumped the fence and my companion rolled over it right as the dogs were on his heels. Landed right on his behind and was terrified. (Taylor)
- My first area, Enogera where I fell off my bike going downhill. I hit the front brake and the back tire came flying to the front right at the traffic lights. Good thing, it was in the night. My companion, Sister Pitts from Utah could not stop laughing. We laughed all the way home. (Henao)
- Learning how to ride my bike for the first time for a 23 year old 😂😂. (Folola)
- Riding up a steep hill and my bike chain broke and my handle bars came off. They had been sabotaged. It was a long walk home. (Joshua)
- A member testifying about how much; “I just LOVE Mangoes!” (With advice to members for recipes) all given in Testimony meeting. 🙂 Polynesians on fast Sundays are always entertaining! 🙂 (Hazel)
- My front tire of my bicycle going down a drain in Mackay and getting tossed off my bike; getting chased while riding our bikes by Great Danes that jumped over a fence as we rode past. (Mark)
- Riding our bikes in a typhoon. Being able to jump off our roof into water. Trying to get a drink at every door. (Kenneth)
What was a crazy experience?
- Driving with some of my companions (I wasn’t the one driving). (Jackson)
- We met a distressed woman on the street and walked with her back to her apartment. When we got there, we met a man. As soon as we met him, I had a terrible feeling that he was not a good man at all. The spirit was gone as soon as I saw him. We had already set a return appointment with the woman, but I knew if we went back there, we would be putting ourselves in danger. I voiced this to my companion and we discussed the options. We prayed about the decision we made, and ended up not going back to that apartment. She did have a pamphlet we left with her, so hopefully that will be there for her one day. (Taylor)
- The most dangerous experience on mission was biking home after 9 pm but we made sure that we sang all the way home. (Henao)
- When my companion told everyone we met that she’s engaged and she went on and on about it 😥😥. (Folola)
- Narrow roads, almost was hit by a truck, fishing near crocodile infested waters. (Joshua)
- Traveling to see Elder Nelson speak. Member van with 14 souls hit major thunder/lightening -rainstorm on freeway. Hydroplaned. Van tipped, slid; spun, and was at mercy of storm/water on road. We were nearly hit by other vehicles. Others were. Angels attended. We were spared serious/fatal injury. Sang hymns to bring Spirit and calm our shaken souls, and to give thanks for our protection. Plus side; investigator chose to be baptized the next day when we returned to meet Elder Nelson again. 🙂 (Hazel)
- Avoiding cars who tried to drive us off the rode while riding our bicycles. (Mark)
- When a companion tried to catch a Gila monster. Having beer bottles thrown at us. (Kenneth)
- Crazy, we were buying groceries at the market in Beenleigh, an older man came up to me and asked if I was a Mormon missionary, I said yes, he then asked me if we would teach him about the Book of Mormon. I did know if he was pulling my leg or really wanted to learn. We took his address road a good 7 miles into the bush and taught him the first discussion. He finished them and was baptized a short time later. Brother Lafaver. (Scott)
- We left after Sacrament meeting in Asheville to go tracting with the elders in my district. Six of them were walking and my companion and I were riding our bikes down a steep hill at a good clip racing each other when a lady in a car pulled out in front of me. She ran the stop sign, I remember thinking, this is it just before I was going to hit the car on the passenger side door. The next thing I know I am running down the hill with those giant bounce to bounce steps until I could get control and stop. All seven Elders were yelling and cheering, saying, “do it again Goodrich.” I did not know what I had even done. They said my bike slid sideways suddenly, stopped and I did two complete somersaults through the air over the car and landed on my feet running. All I know is that it was as though someone had grabbed me, flipped me over the car, and landed me on my feet. The only damage done was to my flip chart. It tore a corner of the black binder on the bitumen. (asphalt) (Ronald)
What was a spiritual experience?
- We were sharing a message with a part member family about God’s presence in our lives. We used an object lesson with the father and their foster child who had been with them for over a year. As we told our story and reached the part of how Heavenly Father is standing with us at all times, the Spirit entered the room. This father and his foster son connected at that moment after months of not getting along. God testified to all of us at that moment through a father and his son that He does love us and stand by us. (Taylor)
- Too many to count. One of the most spiritual was recounting the first vision by memory instead of reading it to an investigator. The result was like Ammon with Lamoni. (Joshua)
- Meeting Elder Russel M Nelson of Quorum of 12 apostles. Having a sure witness he was/is called by the Lord in his appointed role. Also met Elder L. Tom Perry. Same witness. (Hazel)
- Singing along as we had doors slamed throughout our door knocking – praying with the investigator when we taught the prophets principle of (Joseph Smith)💙💙💙 (Folola)
- All teaching opportunities and baptismal services. (Mark)
- Baptizing in a rain forest. Teaching the first vision. (Kenneth)
- Being a witness at one of my first missionary baptisms. I was asked to stay with an investigator while the zone leaders performed a baptized. When the person came out of the water I looked at the face of the investigator, his face was glistening his eyes were full, he told me he had to be baptized as soon as he could be. The spirit was so strong in that moment that I couldn’t help but cry with joy. He was also baptized a short while later with his wife. (Scott)
- We had been tracting for what seemed forever, with no luck getting in anywhere. It was late in the evening and the last door we knocked on for the evening, a lady with several children answered the door, let us in and we gave a blessing on her and her home as was the approach used in all the Australian and New Zealand Missions at the time. When we looked up after the prayer, she had tears streaming down her face and she wanted to know what this was she was feeling. We taught her the Holy Ghost discussion and the Joseph Smith discussion and she said she knew it was true. (Ronald)
What are some interesting facts about the Brisbane Mission?
- Our mission is Australia’s Best Mission. A tradition in the Mission is that new missionaries are not called greenies, but Goldens. At least 80% of our mission does not have missionaries serving in their area (a lot of the work is done close to the sea.) (Jackson)
- It’s geographically huge. It’s demographically one of the most diverse in the world. (Trevor)
- Most non member people we found proselyting did not have a belief in God because they didn’t feel the need. They were content. There were a lot of Polynesian and Aboriginal people. The membership in Australia is very strong and growing rapidly. The culture of Australia is very easy going and simple. People are generally happy. (Taylor)
- The interesting facts about my mission were actually witnessing the complete conversation of a life and actually enjoying the blessings of it. (Henao)
- To love the people I came across both members and non members. (Folola)
- We were told, as a joke, that for every door we knocked on, someone in South America was baptized. (Joshua)
- Loved serving in Australia Brisbane Mission for a year. President Harvey was inspirational as a leader. I loved the people of Toowoomba, Marsden & Parkridge. Dedicated servants of the Lord. (Hazel)
- Original call was for 18 months, and I chose to extend to serve 22 months, meaning I only stayed one Christmas and back in NZ before the summer heat. (Mark)
- I served mostly in the outback. Mission was from Papua New guinea to the gold coast. (Kenneth)
- Kangaroos are not found in the big cities, but can be found in smaller towns from time to time. I only saw wild Roos twice on my mission. Semitropical so it never got much colder than 50 f. While I was there we could wear jumpers instead of suit coats in the winter. With all the ocean there I only saw the ocean twice or maybe three times Brisbane was inland a fair bit, and I never served in an area that had beach front homes to tract. (Scott)
- The members are awesome. The spiders are the biggest I have ever seen. The number of different people that live there from all over the world. If you thought you wanted to go to a different country, do not worry, you will meet someone from there; multiple times. The way the women and men dress in the summer was hard to adjust to. Very little clothing on much of the time. You learn quickly where not to go at certain times. Cockroaches were the worst thing ever there. We would walk into our flats at night and the floor would move, open the cupboards and the plates would walk away. They are huge and everywhere by the millions. The same with the Fruit Bats that would fly in at night when the Mango’s were on and ripe. (Ronald)
What was the weather like?
- Hot during the summer and warm during winter. (Jackson)
- Warm and humid, hot and humid, crazy hot and humid. (Trevor)
- Very tropical. The dry season (summer) is December-March, the wet season (Winter) is June-October. The rest of the months are typical transition months. Humidity is very high and the daytime temperatures range from 20- 30 degrees Celsius. (Taylor)
- The weather was not that bad. I actually enjoyed the weather. Hot was hot just like back home. Winter, I made the most of it because we did not have winter back home (Papua New Guinea). (Henao)
- Was not bad but when it’s summer was so hot. (Folola)
- Tropical. Hot. Lots of rain, humidity, and wind. No snow. (Joshua)
- Queensland weather is hot. Especially up north. Toowoomba is colder. More moderate temperatures. You will need a jacket & good winter shoes if you serve there. Be prepared for rain! In New Zealand WM, I served in Levin. Lovely town. Quiet. Cold. Rainy. But beautiful! Wear warm clothing & comfortable shoes. The members are awesome! (Hazel)
- Arrived in January, to very warm temperatures and tropical downpours. Enjoyed being up north during my first winter, warm days and cool nights, last winter was in Murillumbah and had to pray to be warm. (Mark)
- Hot. Wet. (Kenneth)
- It is lovely always warm. Most days were sunny as I recall. We did have some great thunder boomers in the summers the would roll in dump rain for a few minutes and move on. We had one tropical storm lots of wind and rain but thankfully no damage or injuries. (Scott)
- Hot, Humid, Hot, Humid, and Hot, Humid in the summer, cold in the winter. The humidity is the killer. Depending on the area, the Gold Coast was one of my favorite areas. However, it has changed immensely, since I was there. (Ronald)
Any things you really like about the area/people?
- As much as Australians will abuse you verbally, if you are able to touch their hearts, they are some of the nicest people you can meet. (Jackson)
- Good mix of rude people and nice people. (Trevor)
- They are very content people. They enjoy their life as it is and focus on the people that matter most. The landscape is beautiful! Very colorful and bright. ((Taylor)
- I had a chance to meet and teach some old brother and sister who are not English speaking (Chinese). I met the missionary who baptized my Dad and my Mum back in the island of Samoa 68-70th. (Folola)
- There were many incredible people. Very kindhearted. (Joshua)
- The members willingness to give what they had to share; a meal, a bathtub for cold winter days… rides when we didn’t have a mission car, wise counsel when we had companionship difficulties; good Priesthood leaders who served by ministering to all quietly and inspiring trust still hold my deepest respect/affection. Members willingness to gather in support of missionary firesides, baptisms, and other activities, especially involving coming together musically in choirs, and/or special musical items. (Hazel)
- Very similar to my native New Zealand. Eat the same foods, and drive on the left hand side of the road. Met some truly wonderful people. Enjoyed the variety of areas, companions and challenges of small branches to large wards. (Mark)
- They are great people. (Kenneth)
- The Aussies were the friendliest people I had ever met even when they didn’t want to talk to us they were kind for the most part. Love the slang it was always fun to learn new words. (Scott)
- The members. The language, it is hard to mimmick or pick up, but is unique and fun to learn. Many famous people in the US came from Australia. (Ronald)
Any packing/clothing advice?
- Take a raincoat. (Jackson)
- Lightweight rain jacket. Extra slacks. Good pair of running shoes. Hankerchiefs for your sweaty face. Bring sheets. Have extra money available to buy replacements. (Trevor)
- Don’t acquire stuff area to area. It seems like you will need it as you move from place to place. You don’t. The only thing you’ll actually want when you go home are the ties you receive from other missionaries or other personal keepsakes. (Taylor)
- Not too much clothes. Just pack what you really need to save time and easy to carry. (Folola)
- Follow the list. (Joshua)
- Pack simply. Anything you don’t have you can find at the local Thrift stores or by trading with missionaries. For items you need to purchase, most missions have access to a store like Target, Walmart or The Warehouse. Avoid paying for brand new clothing, unless it is durable and worth the investment. Choose practical fabrics that don’t stain easily, blend well with other colors and endure daily wear.. Find souls to mend your clothing as needed, or donate to Thrift stores as you are on your mission. Keep your wardrobe light! Don’t become too attached to clothing… be attached to the gospel and the people you make connections with. (Hazel)
- Stay cool. (Kenneth)
- Get summer suits, umbrellas are handy in the wet season, make sure you have good shoes for walking. (Scott)
- Thin, lightweight, shirts, pants, cotton, try out different shoes for walking before going. You will want some that are not heavy, yet durable, and will not cook your feet in the summer, but have others that are warm and comfortable in the winter months. (Ronald)
What blessings did you receive from serving a mission?
- A strengthened testimony. A greater understanding of the atonement of Jesus Christ. (Jackson)
- The skills I learned from my mission are directly impacting my success in my schooling and leadership responsibilities at my university. Goal setting, scheduling, managing groups of people, planning for individuals, looking outside myself, etc… Spiritually, the testimony I gained could not have been matched anywhere else. Seeing the miracles occur by people embracing the Gospel of Jesus Christ is physical evidence that He lives and that this is His gospel. It is then up to us to accept that evidence. (Taylor)
- I made lots of friends and learned to be patient. I learned to approach people who were rich spiritually and physically. Most importantly, a couple of my younger sisters served a mission after me. (Henao)
- I feel closer to my Heavenly Father if I served with love and share my testimony with others. (Folola)
- Too many to count, from pricing to health, to a firm testimony and love of the Lord. (Joshua)
- Still receiving blessings unmeasured. The sure knowledge of the truthfulness of restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. The ability to believe in myself as the Lord’s appointed servant, even though my mission field is a tad different to mission times, the calling to teach souls about Christ is the same. (Hazel)
- Added to my fledgling testimony, a desire to learn and apply gospel principles, how to work effectively with a range of people, developed strong work ethics, and understanding priesthood governance. (Mark)
- A life of testimony and personal growth. (Kenneth)
- I don’t think of it that way, I think I was blessed with a wonderful wife because I had a bit of an Aussie accent when I came back and that got her to look at me. We have three wonderful children. I lost her this past year to cancer but I have a testimony of eternal families and the retraction that was strengthened many times over from teaching the gospel. (Scott)
- A sure conversion and witness that Jesus is the Christ and Joseph Smith was who he said he was and he saw whom he said he saw. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is true and seeing the blessings it brings into the lives of those who join. (Ronald)
What are some skills you gained?
- Teaching people. (Jackson)
- I can talk to anyone, and work in tropical heat. (Trevor)
- Time management. Planning. Scheduling. Lesson plans. Individual needs of people. Goal setting. Conflict resolution. Patience. Love. Charity. Accountability. Organizational structure and procedure. (Taylor)
- Meeting and greeting of different kinds of people from all over the world. Confidence increased. My customer service skills. (Henao)
- Still love to share and easy to connect with people who are around me. Still love to make friends and talk about the gospel. (Folola)
- I can teach the gospel. (Joshua)
- Learning how to be direct in communication when it served higher purposes. Forgiving others and myself. Interpersonal skills within companionships, district/zones and member contact. The ability to be tenacious without apology. Finding unique ways to serve the Lord’s while experiencing debilitating chronic illnesses. Knowing all I gave was worthy/ valued to him. (Hazel)
- I am a fit, more willing to get up and speak with people when I have to. (Scott)
- Teaching principles, relying on prayer and the spirit, goal setting and knowing hard work can achieve success. (Mark)
- Dealing with adversity. (Kenneth)
- Interpersonal relationship skills, teamwork, communication skills with people and your companion (helps with marriage a great deal as well.) Leadership, planning, organizing, study skills, memory building and the list goes on. (Ronald)
What do you wish you knew/did at the beginning of your mission?
- That the small and simple basics of the Gospel is what helps everyone come unto Christ. (Jackson)
- It’s not going to always, or hardly ever, be fun or easy, but take time for self improvement, talk with people about local things, go out and see places, stunt be one dimensional. (Trevor)
- Exact obedience, combined with the Spirit and love, will make me the best missionary. Begin getting to know Jesus Christ and apply His Atonement long before you leave. He is the key to success. Without Him, you will be good. With Him, you’ll be a key to miracles. (Taylor)
- Not really. I was at the right time and I was able to learn my English at the same time. (Folola)
- I would change nothing. Just work hard so you have no regrets later. (Joshua)
- Any effort is multiplied. An okay effort will do. Perfection is not required. It’s okay to ask questions, even within priesthood leadership. Listen more! Love all including yourself! (Hazel)
- More confidence with golden/inspired questions, and better cooking/meal solutions. (Mark)
- A stronger testimony. (Kenneth)
- The time will fly use all of it to the best of your ability. (Scott)
- Knew all the scriptures better, had studied all of them and read all of them at least once, completely. Really put Moroni’s promise to the test before I got in the mission field. I thought I had a testimony all my life and thought I knew the Church was true. I was much like Peter in the New Testament. I had seen many miracles in my life, had many of them for myself, and yet was not “converted.” I believed, I had a testimony, but as Christ told Peter, “When thou art converted, feed my sheep.” When he was converted, he was a completely different person and gave his life for the Gospel. (Ronald)
Any advice/testimony for pre-missionaries going to Brisbane?
- Do your best, and remember what you learn. (Jackson)
- More than half your companions will be speaking English as a second language, so be ready. (Trevor)
- Everything will keep you from going on your mission. Satan knows the influence you will have. Stay strong and surround yourself with encouraging people as you prepare to leave. When you get to the mission, stay strong and be faithful in the work. Satan, again, will try to make you feel like you are not making a difference. Whether you see a miracle every day or not, you are making a difference. You are showing Heavenly Father your loyalty and faith in Him, and you are showing Him that you trust Him. That will bring miracles in your life and in others. (Taylor)
- I would like to bear my testimony that if you prepare yourself enough and are willing to serve others, you will be blessed and I testify that God will be with you always. God will help you to continue to love the people you are called to serve the with all you have. I know that God lives and our Savior is Jesus Christ. They love us dearly. in His name, Amen (Folola)
- Read the Book of Mormon over and over again. And don’t be overly worried about having a girlfriend before you leave. (Joshua)
- Love/thank the people yous serve & who serve you. Pray for them by name. Dedicate your area. Pray, pray, pray for souls always. Keep a gratitude journal as a conpanionship…3 things every day. Be blessed! (Hazel)
- Be prepared to work hard and love the natives. Australia is now a very diverse country with a big mix of cultures. (Mark)
- Prepare! (Kenneth)
- You must have a testimony of the great restoration of the gospel and you must be ready to share it with anyone any time. (Scott)
- Study the Book of Mormon like you have never studied it before. Put Moroni’s promise to the test. Moroni 10:3-5, make certain you have received that sure witness. With that nothing else will matter. Never debate, that will always put you on the defensive, and you will not win. Love the People. Really learn to love the people. There are always going to be people who mistreat you, are rude, ridicule you, spit on you, throw things at you, rocks, beer bottles, etc. but they are the few and you cannot let them affect your attitude. Learn to love your companion for all that he/she is and all that he/she is not. Do not be afraid to speak up if they are not living the mission standards. This is your mission too. Even if they are the senior companion. If necessary take charge when they do not want to do what they know both of you should be doing. Pray always, not just at morning and night, have a prayer in your heart always. (Ronald)
What was a funny language mistake?
- Speaking Chinese to a Vietnamese person. (Jackson)
- I made a lot because English was my second language. (Folola)
- I asked for a bacon burger and the lady restated it and said are you sure that’s what you want. I said yes. I got a bun with bacon on it. (Joshua)
- Many Americans find Australia lingo & New Zealand English hard to understand. Too funny! Develop thick skin if you’re serving in these missions. You will experience laughter, but not at you…with you! Lighten up and enjoy the cultural humor! Polynesians are hysterically funny 🙂 (Hazel)
- Got to learn a little bit of Spanish with two Spanish speaking companions. Confident in doing a door approach, but after that I was lost. (Mark)
- The worst mistake I made was upon arrival. We arrived on December 23, 1977, were paired with our Trainers and the Mission President had set up dinners for all of us at different members homes in and around Brisbane. My companion and I were at dinner with a family who had several children of varying ages. They were talking about a game they were going to go play and I said, maybe we could come and “root for them,” do not use that word. then I asked for a napkin at dinner. A napkin is a diaper in Australia. (Ronald)
Zach (Australia Brisbane Mission)
–Paraphrased from Zach’s mission interview–
Brisbane Mission Geography
I served from December 2007 to December 2009. In terms of Geography, the Brisbane mission was fairly large, one of the largest in the world. Most of the mission is around Brisbane city. There’s a little bit that goes inland. there’s districts and zones that are spread out up and down the coast. I remember that at one point I was transferred “Up North.” The ride was about 24 hours from Brisbane up to the town of Townsville, and that was only halfway up the mission! The further North you get, the more the towns are spaced out.
Some of towns farther north include Cairns and even up to Bamaga. Townsville and Cairns had almost tropical climates, while Brisbane City was closer to California in its weather, temperment, and even plants. However, all of Australia has a very peculiar climates. I don’t think anyone really went to the top of the mission, the territory there is more pacific.
The Church in Australia
In the suburbs and city of Brisbane itself, the church is very well established. Up in townsville and cairns there’s still branches. But the members there were great, and you could have an intimacy with the members that you just couldn’t have in a ward.
I’ve lived in Utah, Missouri, Idaho, Arizona, and California, and I’ve experienced a lot of different densities of members. Utah and Idaho are very dense. When I lived in Boise, it seemed about 50-50. When I lived in Missouri, however the stake was huge and stretched into Arkansas. Australia is very similar to Missouri. Many members live 10, 20, 30 minutes away from each other and from the church, but it wasn’t so spread out that you felt isolated.
The Church started in New Zealand, and then moved into Australia. The New Zealand temple was one of the first international temples. Now the church is growing in Australia and is growing.
Australian culture is heavily influenced by the English. Many citizens are members of the Catholic or Anglican churches. There are, however, a growing number of Evangelicals. I seemed to meet a lot of agnostic people when I was there as well. They were largely undecided, or decidedly undecided. Many were ok with ambiguity in spiritual things. there were a lot of Sikhs as well, seeing as there are many Indian immigrants in Australia. As a result, you can find some pretty great Indian food there. Many Asian cultures are present in the Australian country.