The Australia Adelaide Mission |
Mission Life |
What Should I Take (and What Shouldn't I?) |
Aussie terms / slang
T h e C o u n t r y
Australia is the
only nation in the world to occupy the whole of a continent, and it is
large. Australia is just about the same size as the continental United
States, with a population roughly equal to that of Texas. There are 6 states
and 2 territories, each one (with a few exceptions) covering the same area
as several US states (New South Wales, The Australian Capital Territory,
Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia, The Northern Territory,
and Western Australia). It has a population of about 20 million, and most
Australians live along the east coast. Most of Australia is warm and dry
depending on the season, but does have extensive tropical areas in the
north and colder areas in the south.
As it was originally
an English colony (the Queen is still the head of state), much of the culture
and lifestyle is English in origin (in fact there are quite a few English
imigrants living in Australia), but it is still distinctly Australian,
a trait you will come to love.
You'll quickly find that Australia is only slightly behind the U.S. in development. Meaning, you don't have to dress in outback gear and walk on dirt roads everywhere. You'll be picked up at the airport by the Mission President and his Assistants, and driven to the mission home (just don't freak out when they drive on the LEFT side of the road!) You'll have most of the conveniences of home available to you (meaning washing your clothes means going to a laundromat, not the local river.)
Most of the foods you enjoy at home will be available in Australia (some notable exceptions: Kool-Aid, Root Beer, etc.) McDonalds, Hungry Jack's (Australian equivalent of Burger King), KFC, Pizza Hut, etc. - they're all here, and the food tastes 99% like what you get at home. However, when you eat at member's homes, you will often be trying things you never had before. Australians
eat lots of lamb, and other English foods such as bread and butter pudding. Most foods you will come to love and miss when you leave.
T h e P e o p l e
The people of Australia are, for the most part, like the people in America. Australia is just as much if not more of a melting pot than America, with many nationalities represented. While it may take you a week or two to get used to the accent and the fast pace of their speech, you should have no trouble speaking
to them. Get used to them immediately knowing you're a "Yank" (and probably joking about your funny accent!) Australians are very proud of their country, and it is not recommended to say anything about being under a Queen (or anything regarding politics).
Australians are also very opinionated about religion. While many may not be an active part of their religion, it still is important to them. You'll find people who are Catholic, Protestant, Church Of England, Buddhists, Atheists, and Agnostics.
One thing I learned early on: Australians love their sport! Tracting during a big cricket or footy game is like tracting during the Superbowl - expect a lot of people being very impatient! Holidays are also a very busy time, and that is why (usually) missionaries are given orders to stay inside for most of Christmas, New Year's, etc. My first year in the mission, we tracted in the evening of New Year's. At almost every door, there were either people drunk, half-naked, or both! A very festive astmosphere, but not one conducive to the Spirit.