News Release

Aussie Seniors Serving in Australia


Like their younger counterparts, many senior couples in Australia volunteer their time and means to serve missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Often that service is right in their own country.

The Australian Melbourne Mission in Victoria has recently been the recipient of five such dedicated Aussie couples – the Ferris’s, Goddard’s, Bock’s, Andersen’s and Stirling’s.

Elder Rob and Sister Roz Goddard from Adelaide and Elder Darryl and Sister Peta Ferris from Perth, were called to assist local leaders in their stewardship of the individuals and families in their congregations, encouraging them in their spiritual journey.

When asked why they chose to serve a mission, Sister Ferris responds, “It’s a goal we talked about for years. We wanted to serve, and the opportunity came.”

While serving in remote rural areas near Albury, the Ferris’s spent time training and using their skills to help others - whether it was teaching a class, building a shed, repairing a washing machine or lending a listening ear.

The Goddard’s serve in Moe. With their kind and friendly ways, they have been able to cross barriers from people who initially said, “do not visit.”

They found a single elderly woman who now looks forward to their once a week visit. They were also able to bring comfort to a terminally ill older woman and her husband whose health was failing too. Despite the 1 ½ hour drive time, they happily make this sacrifice for a 10- minute visit.

“We love what we do and the people we’ve come to know,” reflects Sister Goddard.

Elder Conrad and Sister Veronica Bock currently serve full-time while living at home in Glenrowan. Earlier they had served a mission to the Philippines and when they returned, they chose to serve again.

Sister Bock says, “We wanted to serve and be near our family. Working in the Wangaratta district allows us to do both. I know it’s the right thing to serve a mission now because I feel at peace.”

Elder Peter and Sister Vaida Andersen along with Elder Conrad and Sister Dianne Stirling were called to oversee accommodations for the many young missionaries serving in the mission while living in their own homes in Melbourne.

“We just love visiting with the missionaries and making sure they’re keeping their flats clean, that their food is stored properly and that the missionaries are healthy and strong,” comments Sister Stirling.

“I love doing the work and the hands-on experiences. It is such a blessing to us,” adds Elder Stirling.

“It’s good for our grandchildren to see that their grandparents are serving. When they hear people calling us Elder and Sister Stirling, they know it’s us.”

The words of a favourite hymn encourage, “Let us all press on in the work of the Lord, that when life is o’er we may gain a reward.” These five senior missionary couples echo the rewards of missionary service.

Follow the advice of Sister Stirling who enthusiastically says, “Go for it! It’s the most wonderful thing you could ever do. It’s been such a joy to us.”

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.