I was not there so I am not going to tell you what was said, but Tuesday was mostly waiting in the office for Jordan's exit interview. Pres Clark was delayed with other matters so I tried to make myself useful by helping the Elder and Sis Carpenter move luggage and mattresses from one apartment to either the storage area or the senior couple quarters. There are 7 newbies, as they are called here, scheduled to arrive Wednesday at 1:30 PM. So as was quoted by three dead missionaries all day that it is taking 7 to replace the 3 (Oh the glory of the mind). It is an odd feeling to be around as the three missionaries prepare to leave, signing each every ones journals, and giving last hugs and saying goodbyes.
We were then treated to a going away dinner and devotional at Pres and Sis Clark's residence. It is a beautiful condo and the food was prepared by some of the missionaries (some of the best food I have ever eaten). It was a traditional Indian meal that was followed by a devotional and testimony meeting. I could see the emotion of the Clark's as they said their goodbyes and bore their testimonies and allowed the missionaries to do the same. There was talk of doing the same thing the next night for the seven new missionaries only this time it will be a welcome dinner and an opportunity to learn to love seven new young men. It was interesting to be able to be there and witness the cycle of a missionary's lives. Sending them home and then starting all over with someone new.
I was impressed with the love and devotion of the Pres and Sis Clark and it somewhat reminded me of home and serving with BYU students. They come to school, you get to know them and then they move on. I would say the the Clark's experience is a little more intense, but I could empathize with them. Goodbyes and hugs took sometime with just the three of them, I imagine that it takes all night with a group of 6-8. I will leave to Jordan to share his thoughts about going through the cycle, I only offer my observations. I can say "what a group of good men" serve in this part of the world, and it is repeated many times more in other missions. This cycle goes on week after week all over the world, and I have only seen a glimpse of it.