Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Herro Famiry,
HEY!!! Guess what , there`s only a week before Christmas. So, before I forget I`ll tell you when to call me on Christmas. Call me on the 25th, approximately around 5:00pm. Do it! Do it now! Okay and the number is...080-2149-6214. Well, I don`t know what to tell you guys. I`m way excited to hear from you youngsters but at the same time...I`m way concerned. If that make sense. Only, only because I know that this call will mostly consist of:
-uncomfortable and probably unintentional probing questions about my future choices of schooling, housing, life in general, etc.
But, I guess that's just the inevitable. Its happening to me family, I`m becoming old. At a very alarming rate that is...Itsn`t great to know that I`m going to be a social inept and probably senile in less then seven months? Oh well. Oh yes, I should probably inform you that I am, indeed, staying for a third transfer in Kobe with my beloved Elder Meyer. Transfer 12, bring it on!
Well, I bring good tithing to all of those who reads this email. Brother Yoshida was baptized yesterday!!! Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! Amen. No, but in all seriousness, it was a fantastic baptism. Brother Yoshida is a spiritual anchor when it comes to the Book of Mormon. After the baptism, he stood up and testified to the ward about his conversion. It was awesome because he told the ward how we were so persistent when it came to following up with his Book of Mormon reading...but it really helped him build a habit to read out of the Book of Mormon everyday. I love that guy!
Yeah...well. There`s a bunch of elders waiting for the computer...and I`m just gonna talk to you over the phone in a week so, peace! I LOVE YOU GUYS!!! Can`t wait to talk to all of you! Have a GREEEEAAAAA-T week. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!! Oh and thanks for the package by the way!!!
Mucho Love,
Elder Saito
Dear Grandview 16th Ward,
Thanks a bunch for all the Christmas wishes! I really love all of you guys! The work is going great over here in Japan and we are currently seeing miracles as our brothers and sisters are coming unto Christ. Please continue praying for them! Thank you so much! And thanks to the kind person who donated their well worked for 50 dollars! It shall be used for good.
Elder Saito


Hey hey hey,
How are you guys? Thanks for the email!!!
So, let me start this email off with a crazy experience I had earlier this week. Well, if you look at the pictures I send to you guys first it may ruin it...but whatever. It was just Monday when I had received a package from a certain man by the name of Jordan Burns. I was excited, mainly because I love letters, packages, etc, but that's beyond the point. Well, within the package was a large blue scarf and a letter on a single piece of paper. I was already pretty stoked at that point because it was a good lookin` scarf and its starting to get cold up here in Kobe, but there was something quite peculiar about this certain scarf. I couldn`t figure it out but it just looked pretty...whats the word, antique? So, I just went ahead and read the letter...which led to my mind being blown. So, Jordan wrote to me that he had watched the last general conferenced and was very moved by the talk Elder Yamashita had given about "my father`s coat." He decided to send me a very special scarf that he had received from a little 17 year old girl named Mizuno Yasuko who lived in Nagoya, Japan during the winter of 1975. Yup Mom, you got that right, that 17 year old girl is you! Isn`t that crazy?! So, 35 somewhat years later...that exact same scarf is now being used by the son of the the little girl who made it herself on his mission. I`m tellin` you, there is no coincidence of this happening. This is purely the tender mercies of the Lord being made known to us! I mean, how else could something like this happenでしょ? Yeah, that's my crazy experience of the week! (Jordan Burns was my mom's family missionary)
Yup, then after that we went to Luminaria...which is the special lights thingy that commemorates the lives lost in the Kobe earthquake 20ish years ago. Twas beautiful.
Yeah, so things are going crazy over here in Kobe. Extremely busy...but that's life you know? Well, ready for more good news? Brother Yoshida passed his interview on Thursday and now he`ll be going through this Sunday! This kid...is the best! I swear, every one of his lessons is just full of the Spirit. There is nothing better than an investigator who doesn`t understand everything but is craving to know more. I mean, he`s tearing apart the Book of Mormon right now. He`s already almost half way through Alma and he started reading seriously just a few weeks ago! Its so great to have investigators who turn to prayer and the Book of Mormon instead of missionaries when they`re faced with challenges or have questions of the soul. That's what leads to lasting conversion I`m tellin` you. But, just because he passed his interview doesn`t mean we can take our guard off. I think this is the time that we need to strengthen him the most, cause you know all them adversity and temptations will be goin at him. But, I think a consistent prayer in the heart and the Book of Mormon will help him out a lot. I also had a big impression to share with him Lehi`s vision about the tree of life this last lesson we had with him, and I think it fit perfectly!
Well, please continue praying for him okay? It`s almost Christmas you guys!!! 早いね! Oh yeah...and what`s up with Spohr being engaged?!?! I am going to DESTROY him if he gets married before I get back! Ah, why is everyone getting married without me there? Whatever, whatever.
Anyways, I go now. Hope ya`ll are doing awesome! Can`t wait to hear back from you soon!
Elder Saito

Sunday, December 4, 2011


Hello Family!

Another fantastic week has gone by over here in Kobe! But first off, how are all of you guys? Its so good to hear from all of you guys, gotta love it! Well, good old Christmas is coming up pretty quickly. Tell me family, what are your plans for the holidays? Oh and for the Christmas calls...I haven`t gotten any updates on it so I`ve got no idea when you need to call me. I know that it`ll be on your Christmas day over there...but I`m not sure. Yes mother, and for the package...I don`t really need anything honestly. A few snacks, letters and pictures will be more than enough for me! Save the money for future uses...like buying me eccentric Japanese items half a year from now! ahaha I joke. I don`t think that far in my mission. No, but really I don`t really need anything. Well, would you guys want me to buy something for you guys from Japan? I mean, I`ve got no money whatsoever but I can buy you things from Daiso (100yen shop) if needed. Oh yeah, if possible, would you be so kind to send me my old iPod so I can put a few songs from the mission home? That`s pretty much all I need.

Anyways, its creeping me out to think that a year ago, I was only on my third transfer with Elder Rahn back in Okamachi. Goodness gracious that was ages ago! I can`t believe how much has gone by in the past year though...I also can`t believe how much I can`t remember. Thank goodness for missionary journals! I swear I have Alzheimer disease. Oh yeah, this was a worthy journal entry. So, we were aired on national television this past week!!! Remember when I told you that we were taped doing that ラジオ体操 (old man stretches)? I guess it made national television this week! It was funny, we had a bunch of members in our ward telling us all about it. One guy even taped it for us on a blue ray DVD! I can`t wait to watch it! A member described it as four rather large 外人`s (foreigners) surrounded by old grandmas and grandpas doing stretches. Can you say 有名人? Yeah, representing the church in a fine manner I would say.

Well, on a more spiritual note. This week was amazing! One of our yakusokusha, Brother Yoshida, made significant spiritual progression in a week! I`m telling you, this guy is a spiritual giant. I haven`t seen anyone manifest as much faith as he did in a long time! So, this last week he was unsure about on whether or not he really wanted to commit to receive baptism. He had legitimate concerns about certain things and we did our best to our ability to help resolve them but there was still something...something that we couldn`t resolve on our own because it wasn`t in our circle of influence. So, we laid it all on the table for him. I told him straight up that we could try our best to convince him with our words but in the end it doesn`t matter because its up to him to decide for himself. So, we did what every missionary should be doing and helped him turn to the Lord. We testified about the power of the scriptures, mighty prayer and how only by those means would he be able to know for himself. And it was great, because the next day I followed up with him over the phone and he told me that he couldn`t get a clear answer...BUT, he felt a good feeling inside when he read and prayed and he knew that it was a good thing! It was great because I told him right there that that feeling he had inside was the Spirit. And that same Spirit is the way that the Lord is teaching you that it is true! Once I told him that, he was all like "OHHHHHH" and it finally clicked for him. Then right off the bat he started testifying and reading to me scriptures that he found earlier that week over the phone. It was like, an hour long phone call but we testified, read out of Alma 32 together and helped him realize that the Lord is trying to teach him something. Isn`t the Spirit so amazing? So in the end, he told us at church that he still doesn`t know or understand everything but he feels that what we`re doing is right and that he had been saved by Jesus Christ! I know right, that`s the definitions of faith. Not a perfect understanding of things, but a hope. Yeah, well his interview is coming up this Thursday so please, please, please pray for him okay? He really needs it!

Yeah, so the work is moving forward! Life is good. Gotta keep working harder to see more miracles! Gotta go and set up Christmas decoration for the Zinke`s now! I LOVE YOU GUYS! 頑張って!!! ファイト!!!

Mucho Love,
Elder Saito

Monday, November 28, 2011


Hey, hey, hey,

Wow, my sister and my brother-in-law didn`t forsake me this week! Good job you two, good job. Holy cow, I can`t believe both Thanksgiving and Black Friday already passed by! ぜんぜん意識してなかった!That`s so ridiculous, what in the world happened to November. Well, I`m glad you guys were able to get some Black Friday shopping done. Did you guys go off and buy something new for the house? I remember when we spent a certain Black Friday in front of Old Navy waiting in line just so Richard could get some free Legos Starwars video game...dfksljjfdsajfkldsa

Oh yeah, and as for Christmas transfers chances are that I`m going to stay in Kobe. Mainly, because president doesn`t want that many people transferring in and out right before Christmas day. Which is good, I wouldn`t want to be transferred out just before Christmas and お正月(New Years) I would be terribly lonely! Nothing goes on during New Years in Japan because everybody goes and hibernates in their houses that time of year. So, the point is, you could probably send packages anytime.

Dad, I love how I don`t know anything about your life. Since when did you go on a European backpacking adventure in your mid-twenties? Garbage, how do I not know these things! Well, I do believe that we need to take a good road trip to New York or something after my mission so we can have a good amount of time to talk about your life. You too Mom, I don`t even know anything about you either. Plus, your conversion stories are good tools to use when we got certain investigators struggling about things. So yeah, get ready for a good old interrogation half a year from now, okay?

Anyways, this week was quick as usual. Oh yeah, Sister Funabiki was baptized yesterday! It was so great, I swear she is a super star! She testified a lot about missionary work and the concept of repentance during her testimony. Whats better than seeing an elect who`s heart had been prepared for ages to accept the gospel...and then is all gung-ho about going and spread the gospel to her family and friends after her baptism? Well, I had the honors to preform the baptism. It was a really good experience for me because I was able to really think deeply throughout the week about my responsibility of being a priesthood holder. I don`t know, especially after watching last conference I realized that I should probably try to realize the strength of the priesthood and how important it is within the whole big picture. I mean, that`s why the Restoration was so important! Not only because the gospel was restored, but the authority to perform everything that is necessary for salvation was. Yeah, it was a good opportunity for me to think things through again.

Well, other than that this week was pretty hectic running around the zone again. Oh, and we also had a zone conference earlier this week and President picked on me. During a presentation, he picked me out of the crowd and made me teach baptism in front of two zones. What made it worse was that he said "alright Elder Saito, now show us why you`re a zone leader!" right before the mogi. No pressure right? haha but no worries, I was able to teach it just fine. I mean, I`ve been teaching baptism for a whole year and a half now, I better be able to do it right? But no, it was all the Spirit teaching through me though. I swear, that's the best feeling. When you know the Spirit is teaching through you and the Lord is using you as a mouth piece. Cause I`ve felt times when I knew the Spirit wasn`t in the lesson...and it was painful! Anyways, life is good.

Okay well, I`m gonna go now. We need to go and get things done this P-day because President is pulling a barbecue party for all the zone leaders today before zone leader council. Gotta love that guy! Hope you guys have another awesome week!!!

I love ya!!! Peace.

Mucho Love,
Elder Saito

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Dear family,

Hello family! Its good to hear from all of you guys again. Well, here I am, complaining about time once again. Can`t believe its already Thanksgiving week already...goodness. I swear, I have no idea what happens to my days, no months anymore. Well anyways, how`s everything doing?

I see Selena and Richard have become slothful and didn`t send me an email this week. Excellent, excellent. I hope they read this statement, remorse for their wrong doings, repent and send me an email for once! I`m not a terrible person, I`m just fulfilling my responsibility as a missionary by crying repentance to my brethren. But as for you faithful parents of mine, thank you!

Well, this week was interesting. Mainly because we were only in our area for...three days maybe? Elder Meyer and I were able to travel around the zone and give good training to each companionship about organizational skills and follow up techniques. I know what you`re thinking, learning organizational skills from Elder Saito?! But trust me on this one, I have a good idea of what I`m doing...or at least I think I do. But it seems to be helping the zone out quite a lot already, especially them younger missionaries. The travel expenses were filthy expensive but it was well worth the empty wallets and bank accounts because we were able to strengthen the younger generation of missionaries so they can fulfill their responsibility as missionaries. I mean, the Lord has entrusted us with His precious elect, of course we have to do our best so that each and everyone of them is nourished by the good word of God and accounted for.

Oh, I was also sick this week as well. Nothing big, just a small cold but I was exhausted from traveling on the trains so much. But its all okay because I was able to perform when it came to teaching and finding just fine so no problemo! The best memory of the exchanges was when we went up to Kitarokko to work with young Elder Jeppson and Wilcox. We didn`t really think ahead when we planned to kokan because we knew it was going to rain but...nevertheless we didn`t bring any rain gear whatsoever. And in Japan, when it rains...it RAINS. Elder Jeppson and I had planned to go all the way to Sanda to go streeting because Kitarokko is a pretty inaka (country) area. Its a good 45 min bike ride over to the next city...and yes, we rode through the rain. You should of seen it, I swear the ocean was just falling on us! At first the rain was unbelievably cold and my suit and dinky jacket I found in the apartment didn`t do me much. I was soaked head to toe. But it was good, because we were able to talk to a lot of good people in the rain. They probably thought I was crazy...but who doesn`t? I don`t know, actually really enjoyed it though. I love the rain, I love the country side and I love long bike rides because there`s no one to talk to. It reminded me of all the good times I had as a younger missionary fro some reason. Anywho, the rain eventually got warmer throughout the day and then ceased right about the time we ended the companion exchange. BUT IT WAS AWESOME!

Well, I gotta go now. I need to go bake some brownies for my investigator`s birthday now. Gotta show my sheep that I love them! Yeah but good news, the Kobe sisters have a baptism going through this coming week and the investigator asked me to baptize her! I`m telling you, she is awesome! True definition of a "golden investigator." I`m honored to be able to help her take that first step to come closer to Christ. Please pray for her this week okay?!

Sweet, I love ya guys!
Elder Saito

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Hey family!

Well, I gotta tell you, its been quite another crazy week! Its been fast as usual, but that`s pretty much what I say in every email now-a-days. Oh yeah, thanks a bunch for the package...well suitcase by the way! I was way surprised, I didn`t think you would actually go through all of the work to send me a whole suitcase full of stuff. Yeah, its a wonderful feeling when you can say that you`re wearing something that actually belongs to you other than your garments. The white shirts are great, only problem is that the sleeves are a little shorter than usual but whateves, nobody actually cares when you`re a missionary. And the suit is sharp! I look like a Japanese business man prancing around in that stellar black suit. Its a good thing that I don`t need to look like a homeless person walking the streets of Kobe anymore. bahaha. Thanks mucho mucho!
Oh yeah, sorry for not writing Obachan back for a while. I`ve been so busy on P-day that I haven`t had any time to respond to anyone. But I`ll be sure to jump on to that ASAP. Seriously, Kobe just drains all of your time! But its all for a good cause. For example, we woke up today, got ready and jumped onto a 2 hour train ride to go teach an AWESOME young Chinese couple. Yeah that`s what I do on my preparation days, I teach the Elect. Seriously, this couple is the bomb! One of our members in our Gaijin (white-people) branch referred them and we taught them a bit of the Plan of Happiness yesterday. Man, they absolutely love the Plan of Happiness! Its amazing, we went over to the members house earlier today because its the only day that the couple can meet this week other than Sunday. We finished up the Plan of Happiness and they understood and accepted all of it! After we taught the Atonement, I asked whether they believe that they can be cleansed through Jesus Christ and they answered right of the bat, "Yes!" Ah, I love this couple so much! I tell ya, its awesome just being able teach and testify about eternal families and happiness. What better way to feel the spirit you know? Ah and it was a heart-melter when we had the husband pray at the end. He was praying in Chinese so we had no idea what he was saying but the wife started to tear up during the prayer. Turns out through out that during the prayer he was praying, thanking the Lord that he could be together with his wife for all eternity and how happy he is! Well, it is called the Plan of Happiness for a reason you know? I`m so excited for this couple, we`ve got them working towards baptism in the upcoming months and hopefully we can get them sealed in the temple too!
Well, Kobe is treating me well as you can tell. But wow, this transfer ended so darn quickly!!! So, I got my transfer call...and I`m being emergency transferred to Arkansas.
No, just kidding. I would cry! Twice! Nah, but I`m just gonna stay as a zone leader with good old Elder Meyer as my companion. I love that kid so much, we`re going to have another blast of a transfer. I just hope this one doesn`t go as fast as this last one did though! Seriously, time is going faster and faster. I blink, and I`ll be talking to you on Christmas day, conversing of all the classes I`ll be taking seven months later. Barf. I just try not to think about it! Time is literally my worst enemy right now. Curse you! I mean, its already been four years since I was playing football under Coach Pope and now he`s retired! Curses. Whatever, I`m not bitter that I`m getting old.
Kobe, Kobe, Kobe. I`m way stoked! This next transfer is gonna be full of miracles! I mean, we just barely got a referral from the sister missionaries. We gonna be teaching a Jamaican women! Whats better than being a Japanese-American teaching a Jamaican person about Jesus Christ and how His gospel has been restored in Kobe, Japan? That`s right, not much.
Well, I`ve gotta go and write some letters now. Thanks a bunch for everything! Oh yeah, Happy (late) Halloween! Please, please, please continue praying for the elect over here in Japan. They need your prayers! I`m good, no worries about me okay? Life is good.
Random fact of the day, this is how you say "My name is Elder Saito" in Chinese: Woshu Chetahn Jonglaou
Spelling is probably completely off...but whatever.
Mucho Amor!!!
Elder Saito

Sunday, October 30, 2011


Hello family,

Hey, thanks for all the emails you guys! Pleasure to hear from you all of you guys.
Anyways, thanks for making me feel even more gross talking about signing up for school Dad. I'll be sure to pray and figure out what exactly I want to do with my life. The first semester will probably be a bunch of general education classes...but who knows? Lets see, I still want to continue my major with PDBio but I do want to throw in Japanese and Spanish. Maybe I'll take psychology or chemistry...NO! NO! NO!!! I shall not think about it until it is absolutely necessary! Remind me again sometime around the middle of November so I don't become lazy.

So, I'm extremely distracted...again. I swear, its so hard to email over here in Kobe because there are always things going on over here. Ugh, time also goes so fast over here in God's door. Can you believe that this transfer is already over?! Well...next week that is, but this transfer has literally been the fastest transfer ever. I'm going to be on transfer 11 next week! Seriously, I can't even remember what had happened this last transfer because things have been so hectic. Oh well, I guess that's life. I bet its the leadership positions that is draining all of my time! All the meetings, training, companion exchanges and emergencies are time bandits. Way effective and needed , but time bandits none the less. Hopefully, for my last few transfers I can go and settle down in some way inaka area helping out. But, I don't need to care about those things because I need to fulfill my responsibility in the area that the Lord sent me to now.

I don't know, this transfer had been really interesting for me. I mean, granted we did see success, but I still feel like this transfer was more for me to learn an important lesson. These last few weeks have been such an eye opener for me. With a combination of the Elder Ringwood mission tour, President's interviews and other important factors, I've found myself pondering rather deeply of how missionary work really affects people in an eternal perspective. Missionaries, members and investigators are all effected by the work that is done in the world right now. I mean, my life definitely has changed! I've realized that there are things I still need to learn and apply before my time is up; so many things. It was a good wake up call for me!

Well, there's only one computer...and my companion is whining so I'll let him email now. This week has been great, our beloved office elders finally saw a baptism this past day!!! Awesome huh? His name's Yamada and he is the BOSS. Literally, they boss.

Anywho, Love you bunch!

Elder Saito



Hey, hey, hey! It`s a beautiful day! How are all of you guys? Thanks for all of the emails you guys. Oh and special thanks to a mother who thinks her son is incapable of keeping all of his shirts! Its totally not my fault, how was I supposed to know that my pen would explode in the washing machine and make all of my white shirts have dark mysterious spots on them? Well, I`ll be anticipating the arrival of my shirts thank you very much. Oh, and if at all possible, will you send like...two garment bottoms? That would be much appreciated.

Well, you`ll probably have to remind me all of the steps I need to take to send all that stuff back to Obachan, cause I`ll forget for sure. ごめん

Uh, so let me see...this past week went by unbelievably fast. Probably because we barely had time to go out and dendo because we had all of these meetings and interviews we had to attend. But all in all, it was a wonderful week. We had a little adventure this past Wednesday because I needed to go to Okayama to translate for Elder Ringwood conference. He`s a new Area Seventy of Asia North and he was doing a mission tour for us. Man, it was so insane. So first, Elder Burns told me that I would be translating for that conference earlier last week ...and then he later told me I wasn`t because PBO had supposedly set up a professional translator to come and do the job for us. So...I forgot all about it and went out to work. Then about a day before the conference, Elder Burns came up to me and told me that I was in fact translating because there was a mistake with the PBO and it turned out that the translator wasn`t coming. SO...I hopped into a car with Elder Burns, took a 2 hour car ride to Okayama and translated for 5 hours straight again. It was terrible, why you ask? Because we accidentally forgot to bring the translating microphone and headphones! 最悪だった!Just imagine this...I`m sitting in the chapel with 9 Japanese people surrounding me and I`m trying to yell under my voice because I couldn`t hear what he was talking about over my own voice. Yeah...that lasted for about 5 hours. Hopefully the poor Japanese missionaries actually got something out of the conference! But, the conference was amazing! Elder Ringwood taught exactly what the mission needed to hear at this time.

Sorry if the last paragraph made very little sense. I`m kind of distracted right now...some guy just called us and told us that he wants to come to church and bring two of his friends, then right after that another guy called us and told us that he wants to come to Eikaiwa. (English Conversation) Well, the is proof that the Lord blesses you after struggling to translate for 5 hours! bahaha

Yeah, this week was very...

Well, just got another call from the same guy. I guess now we`re going over to his house later today to teach his wife and his best friend! Crazy that all of this is happening right now, this never happens in Japan! Well, like President Zinke said, "if you build it, they will come." If we keep working hard the Lord will trust us enough that we won`t even have to go out and "find" the elect because they`ll start coming to us! YES!

Anyways, gotta go and look up where this guy lives so gotta cut this one short. ごめんね!This week was just full of miracles! Hopefully, we can continue seeing miracles everyday! Thanks for everything you guys! Love ya!

Mucho Amor,
Elder Saito

Tuesday, October 18, 2011




Goodness gracious this week went flying buy didn`t it?! Thanks for all the emails by the way, its good to hear from all of ya again! So, things have been crazy just as usual. Seriously, this week consisted of me running around doing companion exchanges with elders in my zone...and the rest of it was sort of a blur.

Well, first off before I start anything, I should probably answer a few of your questions.

Question 1: Yes`m, I did find myself a comfortable suit...from the mission home.

Reason: So, all of the suits at Aoyama (popular suit store in Japan) and Haruyama (another popular suit store) where way too expensive! Like 150 ish. And all the suits that were on sale for 50-70 were all way too small for me! Actually, the waist fit me almost perfectly but my shoulders where waaaayyyyy too big to fit in those suits. Curse you American shoulders, there is no way I could fit in Japan. I cant even tell you how many times I`ve hit my head on door frames...but that's a different story. Plus, Japan is all about the "slim fit, cool biz" fashion...and all the suits that would fit me were far too expensive. I`ll probably just end up buying one at the end of my mission so I can look fly...ha, who am I kidding, I have no fashion sense.

So, I justified myself by rummaging through the mission home`s closet of unwanted apparel and goods on a kokan with my beloved Okinawan, Elder Gushiken. And to my surprise, I was able to find a suit that comfortably fits my awkwardly shaped body...according to Japanese standards that is. Thanks to a kind, generous elder who left behind a perfectly fine suit, I have a suit that will probably last me the rest of the winter! Ya! This suit is so thick though, I swear its bullet proof but whatever, beggars can`t be choosers.

Yeah, so that is how I resolved my lack of wearable suits problem. I do have another suit, Elder Wiser`s old one that is, but its alas, it is too small for my shoulders. Maybe I should just all together stop working out in the mornings, I think that would resolve my problems.

Question 2: Yes`m, I do need you guys to send me more long sleeve shirts.

I, for some odd reason, only can find two at this moment so it would be much appreciated. Oh, and you don`t need to buy me bigger ones or anything. 15 1/2 is still perfect for me. I really haven`t gotten that big, its just my fantastic gut that packs on the pounds. And as for other things...please don`t send anymore clothes or things that I can`t just leave at the end of my mission. My suitcase was a billion pounds last time I transferred and my suitcase actually kind of ripped because it was so compact. So...things like healthy nutritious fruit or protein bars could be useful? I don`t know, surprise me. Oh and pictures of coarse, there is nothing more that I love than pictures.

Question 3: Yes`m, the Yakuza actually live right in our neighborhood.

The Yamaguchi-so`s base is actually right next the the park that we go to every morning. Its a pretty big mansion with this huge gate and there are occasionally black vans with tinted windows parked in front of it. We`ve actually greeted a few of the Yakuza members while dendoing. Rumor has it that they`re really nice to missionaries just as long as you don`t do anything stupid around them. Rumor also has it that they`ll kidnap you with their black vans, tie you to a chair and threaten to kill you unless you deny Jesus Christ. (actual occurrence in Uwajima two years ago) There`s actually a smaller base that`s way close to the church as well...it has these high walls with cameras everywhere. Isn`t it so comforting knowing that the biggest Yakuza base in the Kansai region only three minutes away from the church? I find it quite amusing.

Anyways, I gotta go now. P-days are getting shorter and shorter since there are so many activities going on around us. Life is good in Kobe, it really is. Still trying to figure out specifically what direction the Lord wants us to go with this zone and this area. I shall seek revelation this week! Elder Ringwood, an area seventy, is actually visiting us this week so I shall inquire for inspiration from his wise words of wisdom. Oh yeah, I was supposed to translate the conference but...Elder Ringwood was smart and brought a professional translator from Tokyo with him. What eve!

Have an awesome week family!!! I love you so much!!!

Elder Saito

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Hey family,
First of all...RICHARD! THAT BETTER NOT BE MY KEY HOLDER YOU GOT STRAPPED AROUND YOUR NECK SON! I saw the pictures, I saw the proof, I`ll get you back if that is the case.
Haha well anyways, how are all of you this fine Monday afternoon? (or whatever time it may be over yonder) I actually got the letter this week! Its great because I now get mail a lot faster then I used to because I`m in the honbu and I don`t have to wait for the office elders to send it off to me anymore. Huzzah! Thanks so much, I really appreciated hearing from all of you. I especially enjoyed the wonderful drawings done by the Grandview 16th ward primary of me getting devoured by sharks. I loved it all, I need to hurry up and write them all back.
Can I just tell you that Kobe is just amazing? I swear, its a circus everyday and it always feels like we`re always running around having to do errands and shtuff but somehow we still get work done. I know for sure that the Lord provides a way for missionaries to fulfill their purpose just as long as they forget themselves and put their shoulder to the wheel! Its amazing to look back and see how much success the Lord had granted for us to see in the past few weeks. I mean, we went from having next to nothing at the beginning of the transfer to a nice pool of investigators and two people working towards baptism. And the crazy part is that Elder Meyer and I only had a limited amount of time to go out and dendo. I tell you, this is the Lord`s work for sure. There is no way a 19 to 21 year old pair of kids (from America) can accomplish things like this. Its so great, I love it. The only downfall of Kobe is that...time literally gets sucked into a blackhole. Ok, so this is a rundown of a usual day for me. I wake up, then a blur of spreading the gospel and running around...then I go to sleep. I mean, I`ve already starting my third week of the transfer but I feel like I just barely transferred in! GAH!!! What is happening to my mission? Thats why I was hesitant at first to transfer out of Takamatsu because I knew my mission would jump into warp speed! Bleah, but I can`t complain. The Lord gave me this specific two year period to work with all of my heart, mind and strength so I can`t be wasting time worrying about my time dwindling away.
Anyway, life is good, and so was conference! I`m sure that everyone can agree that this month`s conference was flat out amazing, correct? Correct. Gotta love it, everyone`s talks were very inspirational and actually very bold/direct. I think its just what all of us needed to hear. Oh my goodness, I can`t believe they`re going to be making another temple over there in Provo! That's two temples in lesson then a mile radius...they should`ve just saved the money and made a temple over here in Kobe instead...I joke, I joke. That's so great though, nothing better then the house of the Lord being built in divers parts of the world. Anywho, what were all of your favorite talks? I loved them all, but the talks centered on missionary work seemed to have left the biggest impression on me. I mean, what can I say? I`m out here doing the exact thing that they are talking about! I loved our Japanese representative, Elder Yamashita`s talk about the work as well. It really dawned on me that the work I am doing right now can effective so many lives later on in this life. I mean, where would Elder Yamashita have been if there wasn`t missionary work in Japan? Better question, where would our whole family be if there weren`t angels spreading the goodnews in Japan? Its soooo goooodddd. I also loved Elder Waddell`s talk! Ah, there`s no way I`d write about all my favorite talks because there would be too much to write about and I am waaaayyyy to lazy to do so. So, I`ll just gather all of the parts I thought the Lord was trying to telling me.
1. Enjoy and work hard on the mission.
2. Work with the Spirit.
3. "Its better to look up."
4. Get married. Have a bajillion kids. Love my wife. (bahaha you hear that Selena and Richard?!)
Anyways, conference was GREEEAAATTTT! Well, gonna go and by myself a nice cheap suit now. Good ole suit jacket season is now in and I only have one suit left (All of them have be successfully destroyed by me) The depressing part about it is the suit I`m wearing right now doesn`t even belong to me. I picked it off of Elder Wiser`s "dead" body. Hopefully, Sir Prince of the God`s Door (神戸) Burns Choro can give me a ride on his golden Chariot of the Higher Priesthood (a Honda van) over to a cheap suit outlet. Well, I love all you guys! Work hard this week okay?
Mucho Amor,
Elder Saito

Sunday, October 9, 2011


So, I`m sorry that this email is extremely late and will probably be relatively short, just had an intense lesson with some investigator and it took up a bit of our P-day time, but I just need to tell you that I is alive. Things just have been so busy since I came into Kobe, but I guess thats just what happens when you come into a tokai area and have to start with almost nothing. I know so very little about this area! All I can pretty much do is tell you how to get from Sannomia to the mission home. Well, I guess thats pretty much all you need because there are SO many people swarming the streets of Sannomia. You could pretty much street there the whole day without a problem. But, with a lot of people there tends to be a lot of...interesting people. Its great though, it makes streeting so much more interesting. Oh, the joys of white washing an area, its an adventure everyday.
Anyways, Elder Meyer and I have quite a responsiblity on our hands. President sat us down earlier today and expressed how he wants us to make Kobe, and this is his own word, "explode". As in, find and baptize all of the elect that the Lord has prepared for the Saints in Kobe. President envisions Kobe becoming the "city upon a hill", the "lighthouse" of the mission since this is the "Kobe Japan Mission." And to finish his great statement, he looked up at us, smiled and warmly told us "yoroshiku, I trust in you two Elders."
Well, I now know what is needed to be done with my time in Kobe. That is to simply, find and baptize the elect.
I don`t know, I`m not as nervous as I thought I would be. I just figured that the Lord has already realized a long time ago that I`m just a twenty year old kid from Provo, Utah who has absolutely no idea what he`s doing and He will help me accordingly. All I know is that if I continue to work hard and just trust that the Lord will cover for me, I think that we`ll be just fine. Plus, I have a whole General Conference prepared for me to receive guidance for my new area...so yeah!
Anywho, life is so good right now! I`m living in KOBE! Whats better than that?
Alrighty, I`m going to go bounce now. Gotta find the sheep of the Lord`s fold! LOVE YOU GUYS! Hope you guys have an awesome week!
Mucho amor,
Elder Saito

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Transfer time!

Hey Family,
Well, I`m not too sure on where to even start on this email...the last few days have been incredibly busy and insane. Oh, and I did indeed receive my transfer call. BUT, before I go off blurting about my life, how are all of you guys doing?
Can you guys believe that its almost October already? And you all know what October means...that's right, General Conference!!! YEAH! You`d probably have to be a missionary to understand the fullness of how amazing the big GC is. (Actually no, I lie. Everybody knows that conference is incredible) Es good, es good. I actually just figured out yesterday that conference is coming up in the next few weeks. Twas joyous news to mine ears. But, I was way surprised when I realized that its already coming up. Who would`ve thought that half a year had already passed since I last watched General Conference with Spohr in my beloved Takamatsu. Oh time, how dare you do this to me.
Anyways, other than that this past week has been awesome. Guess what Dad? We found a half Peruvian and Japanese investigator housing this last week and I was able to teach him the Restoration in my sadly broken Spanish! Bahaha hoorah for 5 years of Spanish I had to pull out of my brain on the spot! I probably didn`t make that much sense but whatever, he seemed to be listening pretty well and we felt the Spirit...so that's all that matters! I need to brush up on my good ole Spanish though. My brain is functioning in Japanese-mode most of the time so it was really hard for me to switch from Japanese to English then English to Spanish. But whatever, I fulfilled my purpose as a missionary by teaching this brother about the Evangelio de Jesucristo! Oh man, Spanish...
Well anywho, I`ll tell you about my transfer calls. I`m going to be....staying in Takamatsu for another 6 months!!! Ah, I joke. Well, this past transfer call seriously blew my mind away. The call came early in the morning from my beloved Elder Burns. We talked a little bit about Takamatsu and how amazing of an area it is...and then he was quick to inform me that this next transfer I`ll be sleeping in the bunk bed right above him, in KOBE!!! I`M GOING TO KOBE!!! BAHAHA. Can you believe it? I`m going to be serving as the zone leader for Kobe area and I get to stay in the mission home with my beloved Elder Burns! I know right, crazy! Well, my next companion is going to be Elder Meyer. Which is awesome because he`s actually the bean of my second companion, Elder Rahn, so we already have the "connection." So, the story goes like this. The old Kobe zone leader area used to be in Amagasaki, but President Zinke felt that the Kobe area really needed solid missionaries to boost up the area...and for some crazy reason happened to be Elder Meyer and myself. I`m so excited! I feel honored that the Lord trusts Elder Meyer and I enough to work in that area of the vineyard! I can`t wait to tear Kobe up!
Ah, but there are so many things just running through my head right now. I feel like I`m going to explode! Its such a mixed feeling...I`m so excited to head over to Kobe but at the same time I think I`m going to become depressed thinking about how I`m leaving Takamatsu. You guys don`t understand, this area has literally become my home over the past few months! I don`t even remember how outside the Rock feels like anymore. I mean, I love the area, I love the people, I love everything about it and now I`m leaving it. It was so sad because we had our last lesson with Brother Hamada before the transfer calls and in his prayer he asked "Lord, this may be a personal issue, but would you please let Elder Saito stay for a little bit longer?" Ah! Do you see how I`m so torn leaving this area?! Man, I almost teared up after that prayer because I felt the Spirit so strongly. I`m going to miss Takamatsu so much. I was so blessed to have the opportunity to work here. I can`t explain in words how much growth I`ve seen in myself and how much I`ve learned about the Savior and His Atonement. I love the members, all my recent converts and my investigators...but life moves on. I did what I needed to accomplish in Takamatsu and now the Lord needs me working in another part of His vineyard. So you know, just as Nephi would say, I will go and I will do. Don`t get me wrong, this is going to be a new chapter in my life and its way exciting! But I will never forget Takamatsu, I will cherish all of the great memories I`ve had serving in this area. And I will continue praying for the people I love in this area. Now, I`ll leave it up to my son, Elder Lythgoe and the Lord to see more and more miracle in this area! I mean, we still have amazing investigators who I have no doubt will be baptized in the coming weeks so I have no worries.
Anyways, time is running short. I need to start packing all the goods I`ve collected in good old Takamatsu. Hopefully my suitcase doesn`t explode! Oh and for the suit, I`m planning to buy one in Kobe so no worries. I only have one and a half suits right now and suit dendo season is coming up soon so...
Well, I love you guys so much! Thanks for everything you guys do for me! Can`t wait to hear back from you guys!
Elder Saito

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Hey Family,
Hey, I love you guys. Shoot, looking at those pictures just blows my mind to think that two of my old companions are already home...and they were in my house just a few days ago. Ah...awkward. But I love those guys so much! Its amazes me to think that four of my companions are already home and one of them is going home in a week, and it seems that they`re all gathering in Utah. Can I just tell you that the Mormon world is soooooo small? So, I received a letter from my friend earlier this week and she told me that she met the late Trevor Paul Wiser (companion #4). Turns out he`s rooming with one of her friends! I have a feeling that once I go back to BYU I`ll probably have a some sort of connection with probably half of the campus. Party everyday!
Anyways, thanks for the pictures by the way! Its good to see you guys are doing well. So, I heard somewhere down the grapevine that BYU did terrible against Utah? Schweeet! Maybe I`ll actually have a chance to make the team now! haha I joke. I`m way too old and out of shape to be playing that sport anymore. Literally, I`m old. The last two transfers have made me feel like a grandpa...probably because I`m working with such a young missionaries. Darn youth, why do you have to go and make me feel so old. I seriously cannot believe that the transfer will be over in a week...I know I say in every email, but WHY IS TIME GOING BY SO QUICKLY?! I`m going to be on transfer ten next week. TEN! You don`t understand, thats double digits. Ah, but I need to stop thinking about it so much. I need to live for right now. I mean, this is a chapter of my life that I can`t rewrite and there`s no way I`m going to go and waste it by constantly dreading the end. Its interesting because Elder Lythgoe and I always have these sorts of conversations for our pillow talks...I should try to start falling asleep earlier.
Well, I just need to tell you that this week was amazing! Awesome service project with the branch, great lesson with our beloved Seventhday Adventist from Africa, and just sweet people in general. I love Takamatsu so much. This area has literally become my other home. I can walk through it blindfolded and probably find my way around. The branch is now my family, all of my investigators are now my friends and all the locals are...well, locals. The thought of potentially transferring out of here next week actually scares me a bit...but at the same time, I feel that it would be good for me. Either way, I`ll be excited! Plus, in the end its not up to me, its the Lord`s choice. I firmly believe that the Lord knows me best and knows exactly where I need to go for me to be an effective tool in His hands. I just need to always remember that I`m nothing without Him and I need humble myself and accept whatever the will of the Lord is. Whether I`ll be here in Takamatsu or somewhere else in a week, my purpose won`t change you know? Ah, I just love this work. I`m not going to lie, there are a few days and experiences that have been hard on me, but all of it disappears when I realize that I`m doing the Lords work in the part of the vineyard that I love. Everyday, I get to go out and serve my brothers and sisters who need this gospel. Tell me, whats greater than that?
Well, anyways this week I also had a great opportunity to serve with my beloved branch. We went to an old rest home somewhere up in the mountains and cleaned that place spot-less! I`ll tell ya, simple acts of service is one of the best ways to feel the spirit. Plus, being able to work with the branch really helped us build a better relationship with them. Its always a good feeling when you know the members trust you and want you to teach their beloved ones. I love it! One of our members, who is amazing by the way, wants us to begin teaching her daughter. I can`t wait! Teaching people is so much fun. Oh yeah, and Yokoyama from last week. He is a stud! Came to church yesterday and stayed there for five hours! Yeah.
Anywho, time is running short. I just wanna tell you that I love you guys! Thanks so much for everything you guys do. Really, I appreciate it! I wouldn`t be out here if it wasn`t for you guys, familia. Okay, well I gotta go now! HAVE AN AWESOME WEEK!!!
頑張るぞ!!! ファイト!!!
Mucho love,
Elder Saito