Built in the 16th Century.
Downtown Osaka, the 10th largest city in the world.
Taken from the roof of the castle.
We played sports in the park for a little while and had to ride the train in the street clothes due to a lack of a place to change. These are kind of incriminating pictures, I suppose.
Plus, I look like Jabba the Hut, not paying attention with my sweats and slumpy (is that even a word?!) back.
Most importantly, transfer calls came last night. They said this transfer will be minimal so they only called those who were transfering. We were called. I`m transfering. I`m heart-broken that I don`t get to spend Christmas with my favorite branch in Japan, but I`m also bursting with excitement as to where I`m going. Any guesses?
Apparently the assistants and president prayed really hard about me and felt that I needed to go here. They didn`t even know the relation our family has to the area. I`m so excited. (Editor's note: Elder Low's parents lived in this branch over 22 years ago when Chris was teaching High School English. Elder Low's older brother was born there.)
The next important item of business is the Christmas call. Please call me at 8:00AM my time which should be, if I calculated correctly, 3:00PM your time on Christmas day. It will be Monday over here, Sunday over there. You won`t be at church or on your way to Logan then will you?
I`m way short on time and not too sure what to report on. We spent most of this week contacting people about the Christmas party here in Nara and it looks like there`s going to be a huge turn-out. I hope the missionary that takes my place can handle it and get it coordinated. They will still use whatever you sent to Nara for the Christmas party. I think the branch will really appreciate seeing it, since I`ll be gone.
Funny story, Ono 兄弟 had us 今西兄弟 (Brother Imanishi) (recent convert and his new home-teaching companion), 久保兄弟 (Brother Kubo) (branch missionary), and us over for lunch after church. Suezawa 姉妹 called their home and I got to talk to her again. (Editor's Note: Elder Low's parents lived in the same Branch as Sister Suezawa over 22 years ago when Chris taught High School in Japan. She is a very close friend of the family. Elder Low's mother spoke with her for the first time in over 20 years last week.) She was so happy that she got to talk to you. She said she hadn`t heard from you in over 20 years and was really wondering how you were doing. I gave her your email address so be expecting something from her sometime. I told her I really wanted to go to Kagawa-ken (she`s actually in the Takamatsu branch) and at that point I didn`t know that I was transferring. Crazy. This is really inspired, I can`t wait to see what happens out there.
I`ve grown and really been stretched by these last two transfers as a trainer. It`s almost like my mission started over in a sense. I had to re-evaluate everything I was doing. I think in the end it certainly contributed to growth for the both of us. I`m excited to see where Nukaya 長老`s mission takes him. He`s really evolved in these past 12 weeks and I think he`ll only change more and more for the better.
We actually transfer tomorrow morning instead of Thursday so I`m going to be packing like a maniac all day today. I don`t know if I can get everything ready and sent off in time.
I`m really jealous that you`re in Disneyland. I can`t wait to go again. I hope you`re getting all the rest and relaxation you need.
I`m sure the holiday spirit is pretty crazy in Utah as well. I remember coming home from finals two years ago (whoa.) and Grandma was in the house because you two were in Disneyland. Good memories.
I haven`t gotten sick at all. I think I`ll be ok. If I do, I can gaman with the stuff they have here, even if it`s weak.
Yes, please do post-pone me until winter semester. There is no way I can step off the plane and go to school the next day.
I did get the newsletter and it was awesome. I get a physical copy too, right?
I might be sending you a couple post-cards that I need you to give to members there. It would be best if I could somehow send it to them, but it`s too late now, so I`ll just send them to you so they make it in time and you can hand them off.
I`m out of time. Talk to you next Monday!
McDonalds is selling an "i`con box" for Christmas. 1000 yen (about $12) for two sandwiches, a set of chicken selects, a set of chicken nuggets and two medium orders of fries. My companion and I ate it and nearly died. I really wanted to send something home in the box.