In the process of building our comfort zone here, we purchased whatever we wanted, which meant we had a lot of stuff to dispose of when it came time to go. We had shelves, pots and pans, appliances, and electronic equipment, and a bunch of other things, as well as uneaten food. Our desire was to give this away, first to the other Senior Couples, then the Mission, then to close friends and finally, to the branch presidents to distribute whereever they thought best.
To accomplish this, I emailed a list of our possessions to the other Senior Couples and then scheduled a Senior Family Home Evening at our home where they could take what they wanted, leaving things we thought we needed the last few days.
After giving away our good silverware (stainless steal, not real silver) we realized when we tried to make a sandwich, that we no longer had a knife to spread the peanut butter, so the giving was not without its issues.
On Friday, June 28, Soy Kosal came with a truck and took away all the items the mission provided and we bagged the remaining things and labeled them with their intended destination, then sent them away on Saturday as the cleaning crew made a final pass through the house, and we were away. We felt some sadness leaving Ta Khmau, but we were scheduled to speak in both Ta Khmau branches the next day, so we knew we would see the city and our church friends again before we left.
Part of the ritual for seniors, and other missionaries, is to print a number of departure pictures with contact information to be given to friends, branch members and other missionaries, so we did that, but had trouble deciding which picture we liked the best, so we made 4, giving them out however we felt like.
We were fortunate to have our friends, the Kohls offer for us to stay with them the last few days before we were to leave. The Kohls are the LDSC Missionaries and are busy with humanitarian projects, and as we talk with them we find we have a large number of common interests.
We returned to Ta Khmau and spoke in both Sacrament meetings. I had tried to learn my talk in Khmae but failed and used a translator, but Julia gave her 15 minute talk entirely in Khmae. We passed out our pictures, then said our goodbyes and left, hugging friends and shedding a tear or two.
Monday, we played tourist and visited the National Museum, then went out for lunch and reordered our luggage. In the evening, we had a dinner with the other senior couples where we told about our mission experiences and I passed the Senior Senior responsibility to Elder Meier, much to his dismay.
Today, we plan to visit the Palace, then rest up and meet with President Moon for an exit interview, then go to the airport where we will say our last goodbyes to whoever comes to the airport to see us off, then we will check in and fly away, starting our 30 hour trip home. We expect to shed tears of sadness with these close friends whom we love, then upon arriving home shed tears of joy as we reunite with our family.
This will be a hard departure because we love the people, expecially the young adults who have learned enough English to converse with us, along with their parents who have seen our love for their children.
Goodbyes are hard to do.