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 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

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Hey family! Happy/merry one decade anniversary of 9/11! I don`t know if its a subject to be happy or merry about but whatever, I`m in Japan. My companion and I were awestruck when we realized that its already been a decade since 9/11. AH! We just got Pino (way delicious ice cream) from a member! YESSSSSS! Anyways. Yes, so a whole decade has passed by. I feel that coming on a mission has made me age 30x faster than an average human being will. Its a very awkward feeling...I mean I was reading my journal entries from a year ago. A WHOLE YEAR AGO! It feels like just like yesterday I was getting dropped off at the MTC and embarking on this journey. Anyways, being disgustingly old makes me want to work even harder with the time I have left. 頑張るぞ!!!
Well, I`m glad all of you guys are doing awesome. I`m also surprised how quickly my mail reached you guys! Well, I guess I did send them out to you guys over a week ago so it would make sense that they got to you. I don`t know, all the days just kind of blend together nowadays. Can you guys believe that this transfer is almost over already? I swear I just barely started my second transfer with my son...and now its two weeks away from the transfer ending. I wonder whats going to happen to me this next transfer? There is potential for me to either transfer out or stay another one here. I`ve now come to the point in my mission where either way, I`ll just be happy that I still have the chance to serve. I mean, honestly when it all comes down, it doesn`t matter where you are because our purpose doesn`t change. There are still the Lord`s elect scattered in every area and our purpose is to find them and bring them back to fold. I also need to do my part of keeping those who have already come into the fold not to wander off! Ah, missionary life is so fun.
Speaking of fun, we were able to go over to Okayama earlier this week and receive awesome training from President Zinke and the beloved Assistants. Goodness, Burns 長老 is one monster of an AP! I is so proud of him. Anyways, it was a great experience because I had a chance to bear my testimony in front of a good amount of new missionaries whom I`ve never met. Its odd to think that I`m one of the "veterans" of the mission now...but I`m glad I got to feel the Spirit strongly while talking to these younger missionaries. Need to make the younger generation even better missionaries than we are! And after my testimony I spent rest of the training translating for one Japanese missionary...for almost six hours. So, essential I got very little out of the actual training because I was exhausted from translating but Elder Lythgoe seemed to have gotten a lot out of it so I`m glad.
We also had a great experience earlier this week as well. We actually didn`t have that much dendo time this week because we were so busy running around to appointments and lessons. Concerned that we wouldn`t be able to find anyone this week, we had an opportunity to get down and give a sincere prayer on Thursday after one of our planing sessions. I`m telling you, the power of prayer is...just outstanding. I just had a good feeling that everything will be okay in the end after I ended the prayer. So after the prayer we headed out to our dinner appointment at an all you can eat with our beloved single adult, Shinno kyoudai (yes ladies, he is single). The appointment actually went a bit longer then we had planned so we only had about 45 min left in our day to travel home. Before we began to head home we were able to give a quick prayer, pleading with the Lord that He`d guide us to someone on the way home. And lo and behold, the first person we tried contacting stopped and listened to us! I had such a great feeling testifying about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon to him and it was amazing because he`d read the Bible before so he was able to accept what we were saying. We committed him to come to church...and he did! I love this guy, he really has been prepared by the Lord and now we have him working towards baptism. It may seem like a small experience, but I`m telling you, the Lord is really in this work. He works through small, almost seemingly insignificant means to bring to pass great things. YEAH MISSION!
haha anyways, it was a way awesome week. I`m lovin` it over here! I hope all of you guys have an awesome week! Can`t wait to hear back from you guys!!!
Mucho love,
Elder Saito

Friday, September 9, 2011


Hellur Ev`rbody,
Goodness, can I just tell you all that this week was pretty insane? Typhoons, Kobe, people getting hit by cars, miracles and gray hair...I`ll update you all on that later.
But first, how are all of you guys? I`m way glad to hear that life is going smoothly for all of you guys. I can`t believe that fall semester has started already for all of you guys! Life is just rollin on isn`t it? Thanks for the pictures by the way Dad, I didn`t know that the Grandview stake has been up and runnin for a full 40 years. I enjoyed seeing you having the time of your life wearing white socks and sandals. bahaha. Anyways, the festival looked all "Americ-UH!" Ah, I can`t believe that Calvin is already home! I way びっくり when I saw his picture in the email. Tell him I say "hello, hello." Good old Grandview. I`m telling you though, I am going to freak out when I return back to America and that ward. I forgot how church is like in English...
Chelena, whats happening with your health lately? You`re going to be grandma by the time I get back there. Don`t worry, I`m taking on age at a rapid pace now too. So, this past sabbath day, I was styling my rather luxurious hair when I realized something shining on my head. No, it was not my scalp, but rather a single strand of hair. Full with curiosity, I was able to single out the strand of hair and pull it out. After a good inspection of the hair...I came to realize that it was indeed a gray hair. At that point, I spent a good 30 seconds screaming infront of my mirror because I came to a realization that my life had now taken its turn down the steady slope of old-ness. But whatever, I don`t care.
Well, so this week. I don`t even know where to I`ll just start from the begining. (spell check please) Okay, so let me just tell you, we had an awesome zone leader conference this past Tuesday! Good old President Zinke and all the enlightenment that he offers. It was a very fantastic training. Okay, so this is where everything starts going crazy. We get home Tuesday night after a long bus ride from Kobe with some of the Matsuyama Elders. The second we get home, I saw that my phone was ringing and it said President Zinke. I figured that he just was calling me to check if we were able to get home safely...but I was wrong. This is just about how the conversation went.
President: "How are you Elder Saito?"
Me: "Oh, I`m doing good, how are you President?"
President: "Good, good. So one of your missionaries in your zone just got hit by a car."
Me: "...what?"
And thats how the story unfolds. Turns out one of our sister missionaries was riding her bike in the dark in a more inaka part in the area when a car backed out and she hit into the car and flew off into some ditch. Yeah...our other sister started freaking out because she thought her companion was dead, which is she called President Zinke. So pretty much the rest of the night consisted of a frenzie of me calling our sister and comforting her, calling branch authorities to go and help them out, listening to sirens in the background of the phone calls, talking to President Zinke and of course a good amount of prayers. But, thank goodness missionaries have a special blessing from the Lord. Our sister missionary was able to walk away from the accident with a bloody elbow, banged up body and an even stronger will to dendo. She is an amazing missionary! While she was in the hospital, she was talking to the person who hit her about, guess what? The Gospel! bahaha I love the sister missionaries in my zone! In the end, the Tokushima sisters went over to Kobe to spend rest of the week in the mission presidents house so she can heal up and our beloved sister missionary is returning to her area today to resume the work. She is a TANK!
Anyways, that was a real scare for the whole zone..but thank the Lord that she`s okay! Speaking of scares, there was supposed to be a huge typhoon over here in Takamatsu. I mean there was one...but it wasn`t as bad as I expected. Last months was much worse. The winds were pretty bad the night before but during the day it wasn`t too bad. And yeah...we did dendo the day of the typhoon. Sorry Mom, I just like dendo too much...and even better, we found a new investigator that day too so no worries. Plus, it was Brother Hamada and Takanashi`s birthday so we had to bring a cake to them! I bet Hamada and Takanashi Kyodai must of thought we were crazy. I mean, there we were with our rainsuits in the blustering wind and rain...holding a cake and a birthday card for them. But they seemed to be very happy about it so thats all that matters!
Well...this week was awesome. Seriously saw a lot of miracles! I`d love to write them all but the P-day is calling me. We need to go to Okayama tonight so we gotta get things done yo! Thanks for everything you guys! YOU ARE ALL AWESOME! I love ya!
Mucho Amor,
Elder Saito
PS that lady in the picture is Sister Dambara. She`s awesome.