Monday, February 25, 2013

Arrive in California

February 25, 2013
Dear Family:

Well I finally made it to Cali! I dunno if Sister Smart called you guys or not, she said she was calling everybody’s parents. Anyways I am now in Hemet California. It isn't very far from Riverside. So far its an alright place. I serve in the Fruit Vale ward. It just got split so its got some funky boundaries. It just takes about a mile wide strip and about eight miles long north and south right in the middle of town. If you look at a map our church is on Kirby street and it looks pretty cool. On the top end of my area there are a bunch of old people’s lots that you have to be 55 before you can even live there. South of main there are a few nicer communities we cover and then there are some getto places down there too. I am on bike, and probably will be for a while. My companion is Elder Allen from Colorado Springs Colorado. He’s a pretty cool guy. He is a lot more like me than my last companion. He has been out for 20 months, so he’s getting close. My new address is:

Elder Robert Wood

1972 W Acacia Ave #72

Hemet, CA 92545

The only reason I know that is cuz I got a bunch of awesome letters from the seminary, but I will go into that later.

Don't give that address out to other people, just have them send stuff to the mission office. They do a good job of forwarding mail and getting it to you the next day, so it will be easier just to have people who aren't reading my letters every week to send it there so I don't get any letters lost. Also make sure all packages are NOT u.p.s. or FedEx. If they send those to me they will just sit at the mission office for a few months until I get to go back there. Make sure all packages are sent from the post office so the mission office can forward them to me!

Well on Tuesday the plane flight was really cool! That was a new and fun experience! It was sad to say bye to my new friends, but that’s ok. Also it was really good to talk to you Mom and Dad on the phone. I really enjoyed that. I was pretty bummed when my card ran out of time and I didn't get to say bye to Dad. I hurried and put some quarters in, but it didn't work. You'll have to let me know how being the Bishop is, I bet you tell me about it in your letter. (which just rubbing it in a little, you guys are late! haha) They had my bike all put together for me and looking good when I got there. Pres. and Sister Smart are pretty cool. We just had dinner at the mission office and then had a driving test, a few meetings, get new companions, and then we were off to our new areas and got there about 9ish.

My companion and I got doubled into this area. The old missionaries before us didn't do anything. So we have like 1 investigator. So right now stuff kinda sucks, There is like no missionary work going on right now. So right now we are just trying hard to get some investigators and gain the trust of the ward.

I've already got some good stories to tell when I get back. I got rebuked by a general authority on Saturday! (I know not a good thing) Friday we were talking to our 2nd councilor in the bishopric and he told us we needed to come to the priesthood meeting on Saturday they were having because of stake conference. We told him we weren't supposed to go to meetings like that but he talked us into is anyways. So an hour into the meeting when Elder Marcos A. Aidukaitis from the First Quorum of the 70 stood up he had the full time missionaries stand up. (there was another set from our district there) He asked the other missionaries how many investigators they had and they said 12! He asked us and we said 2! He told us we need to accelerate and then told us both to leave and go get to work! Ya, it was pretty embarrassing.. My companion wasn't very happy about getting told to accelerate when we are working hard and it’s not our fault, I was just embarrassed about saying that and having all the male members watch us walk the walk of shame out the door haha.

My first lesson was pretty weird. We didn't know anything going in because the missionaries before us didn't keep records. The lady was a less active and fell away back in 1993. I didn't understand about 90% of the lesson. It all went over my head. Her and Elder Allen started talking about some crazy deep doctrine and I had no idea what was going on. I have only had a handful of real lessons. Like literally, probably not even 4 or 5. I am going on exchanges tomorrow though. I think they are doing that so I can go to another area and actually get some experience teaching. Plus I get to be in a car!! I love my bike, but it will be nice to get a little break. I am going to duct tape it today hopefully.   I haven't had time to buy stuff before now.

Robby's Bike Before the Duct Tape

Robby's Bike After the Duct Tape (Theft Deterrent)
(Bluebell Glen)

By the way, my first day here I had to buy food and some water and pillows and stuff on my personal card because they didn't have stuff set up. I think it was 58 bucks. Sorry about that. I still have no idea how much money I have there. I also need to buy some sunglasses, but I might just use my funds here. If you bought those sunglasses I showed you dad let me know fast, cuz I’m going to buy some soon. Also my shaver is dying. I about need to use it twice a day haha. So I might need to buy one of those soon too. I have so much more to write but I am pretty much out of time! We normally have more time, but today was a crazy p-day so next week will probably be a better letter. Anyways I love and miss you all!! Can't wait to hear from you!

Elder Wood


Note by Dad

With Robby's note above I would send letters to the mission office:


Elder Robert Wood

California Riverside Mission

5900 Grand Ave

Riverside CA  92504-1328


It sounds like the forwarding happens better from the mission office than from the different apartments where they live. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Last Letter from the MTC!

My Family and Friends!!

February 18, 2013

This is my last day in the MTC! I am super excited to go to California! I am sort of nervous for a new companion though, I hope he's a good one. So I sent you guys some pics while I was doing laundry. The one of my suit is the only one I should really have to explain about I think. There has always been like a yellow marker writing on it, but it was always really really faint and you could only see it if you looked really close (yes I am positive we bought it that way) When I got it dry cleaned to take it out in the field the dry cleaning brought the stain right out and noticeable. I dunno if CTR will do anything about it, if so let me know what to do. If not I think I will just keep this one and not worry about it, because it isn't that bad. Also clothes related, one of the kids in my district from close to there thinks I will need a thicker coat. All the kids going to my area have like a liner that goes inside their coats. I think I will just wait and see if I need one. If I do, I will probably have you send me the liner out of my red columbia coat and that should be fine. I doubt I will really need it though.

Hearing about Lydia and Bryant snow boarding was awesome! I wish I could have been there! Lisa and Ronny sent me some pics and so I did get to see. Thanks for that! I love the little things I get from your kids, by the way! And from you too haha. Also thank you for sending those picture albums you did, I love them. They are all really good pictures! Sharee I'm glad you got to stick out the basketball year. That wasn't easy. Especially now you don't have to deal with your old coach. That first pop after the season is always the best one! But be careful drinking it if you are going to run track. Are you doing track? So where is Brett now? Does he live in Logan or somewhere by SLC? Also I was wondering if Jason was liking his major or not? I need their  contact info just in case I need to tell them something. I already have Ronny and Lisa's so I don't need theirs. Mom you can send any of that stuff you want to. Especially the shoe shine if it is like the better stuff than I already have, I think I will buy some better stuff like that I have for my docs if the stuff you have isn't like it. I definitely could use the lint brush and the small umbrella could be handy, but keep the normal one, mine is good. Tell Kristin Congrats!! and let me know when you know if it will be a boy or a girl! I guess you did hear I got Skyler the tie, so I don't need to tell you about that. For some reason in my notes I have to tell you to look up a video by Elder Bednar. It's called "Patterns of Light" I think that was just a reminder for me to look it up when I can though. I only got to see the first video he had about it, and there are three. I think Elder Bednar is my new favorite. At the MTC we get to watch talks given here that you can only see at the MTC and the best ones I have seen are from Elder Bednar.
Elder Wood and Elder George

I almost forgot to tell you about talking to Pres. Nally! So we were just having personal study time and the intercom comes on and says "Robert Wood will you go pick up the hall phone and call the front desk" so I did and they told me that the MTC President wanted to meet with me. I wasn't too surprised because I had read dad's letter saying I was related to him. I was still really nervous though. So when I walked into his office, he asked what my name was, so I told him Elder Wood. Then he is like what's your first name? I said Robert. Then he's like what's your Grandma's name? and I said Rachel Wood! He then asked where she lives and I said El Paso. I guess Grandma had called him the day before I talked to him and told him he had her grandson in the MTC. Then we just talked for a while about how things were going for grandma and if I'd been to Texas much and that sort of stuff. So that was pretty fun.

Also thanks for sending the calling card, the one you sent me is a lot better than the one I bought from the book store, so I sold the one I bought haha. Make sure you have your cell phones!! Dad I don't know your work number, so you will just have to carry your phone! haha. It shouldn't kill ya for a day. I think the call should be like between like 11 to 1130. Maybe 1030. I don't really know how all this works, but I know it will. Thanks for sending those cookies for valentines! They were amazing! Did you know the bottom of those things were chocolate dipped? Probably some of the best cookies I have ever eaten in my life...

I wish I had more exciting things to tell you guys about. I'm sure I will whenever my next P-day is! I'm over time anyways.  Love you all!                      Elder Wood
MTC District
 Off to the Airport

Monday, February 11, 2013

Second Letter From the MTC

February 11, 2013

 Well one more week left in the MTC! It is a good thing that I am going to be here for three weeks, because I wouldn't be ready to leave tomorrow. We got our flight info on Friday. I fly out the 19th @ 11:00 I think, so I don't have one of those crazy early ones. I will figure out the exact time and send it in my next email. I get to call before I take off (It wouldn't be as time effective but I thought we would call after we landed) so Mom and Dad make sure you have your cell phones on you and charged that day. I dunno if i'm aloud to call both but I probably will anyways (and dad I don't know your work number so you will actually have to carry your phone for once!) I am liking the MTC. It isn't as bad as I thought it would be. I got to do laundry with Skyler today, so that was cool. Kaiden and I are going to sneak over to his building again tonight before he flys to New York tomorrow (we have snuck in twice already haha) Kaiden got here this Wednesday. I get to see him everyday because he eats right after I do and he lives in the same building as me, so I walk down the stairs and he is there. He has a pretty cool companion, but I don't think his zone or district is as cool as mine. I was surprised by how many connections I made in my zone. There were quite a few elders with mutual friends. In one companionship they both knew somebody I knew. Elder Plum is writing Xela Rowley and his companion was pretty good friends with Kenzie Thornock so that was kinda cool. That district all flew out today which was kinda sad, they had some way cool guys in it. I am excited to meet the new kids on Wednesday though. I hope we get some more sisters in our zone too, cuz all of ours left.
Elder Wood and Elder Memmott from Roosevelt


Somebody needs to check on Jetson for me and make sure he isn't pulling his hair out already. I got his address from his sister today so I will probably write him a short letter soon.

Time is weird in here. It runs together really bad. Most of the time I couldn't tell you what day of the week it is unless it Wednesday, Sunday, or Monday. Mon P-day Wed and Sun ice cream bar in the cafeteria. Most people here have put on a little weight. I am still about the same. I weigh what I did when I was at school 150. My companion hasn't ever lifted or ran or anything ever in his life, so he just kinda plays on the elliptical while I do my stuff. I'm pretty sure playing basketball here shortens your life expectancy... there are some ballers here. I guess on our last gym day we don't get to go because lately they have been having a bunch of people get hurt the day before they fly out, so I guess I need to be careful.

I am finding out that if you talk to somebody long enough, a lot of the time they will know somebody you know. One of my friends was talking to a sister while we were doing laundry and she was from Stansbury, so she knew Miranda Peterson (ask Brett or Jason). The crazy thing is that that happens to me everyday!

I have convinced most of my district that going to BYU is a bad idea and they need to come to Utah State. The only ones that don't agree with me have already been to BYU, but even then they still agree with what I say about it half the time.

I'm wondering if anybody read that text I got after you guys dropped me off. No I'm not addicted to my phone, but it might be the difference between me asking for somebody's address or not, so if you know who it was or what it said I wouldn't mind knowing haha. I have been enjoying the letters I get! So keep telling people to write me! I really don't know what else to tell you about, I really don't have too many overly exciting days. I'm out of time anyways, so I'll send you another one in a week! Love you all! 
Elder Wood
Sister Enman from Altamont and Elder Wood

Monday, February 4, 2013

First Letter From Robby

February 4, 2013


Hey everybody!

I really don't know how to go about the writing letters business, so this first one might be kinda weird. As you saw my escort missionary was pretty cool. He was really friendly and gave me some good advice. I liked my dork dot because everybody was super friendly and came and talked to you. Everybody is really nice here and really easy to talk to, and that makes the MTC a lot more fun for me. There are SO many people here! I came in with the biggest group of missionaries they have had come in one day. 600 or 700 missionaries I think. I guess when Kaiden comes next week his is supposed to beat ours by like 200 though. Do you guys remember when we dropped of my brothers and we went into that big room with all the parents and siblings and watched a bunch of sad movies? Well turns out there are two of those rooms. When I got to those rooms they were both almost completely full with just missionaries, no parents or siblings. Oh also something you might want to know is that I am in the last wave of 3 week missionaries, so I will be here until the 19 I think. So Kaiden will get here a week later than me and then leave on the same day. I wasn't very happy about that at first but now I have tried teaching a few lessons I think I am supposed to be in the MTC for 3 weeks for a reason.

My companions name is Elder George. He is from Ohio. He is a computer programmer. We don't really have to many of the same interests but we get along pretty good. It is a good thing he is my companion. My Branches motto is "Exact Obedience" which I have a hard time with. I kinda like to bend the rules. Elder Geroge does a pretty good job of preventing me doing that though. Elder George, me, E. Kirkland, and E. Summerhaze are the only 4 people in my district going to Riverside. Kirkland is from Bountiful and Summerhaze is from Connecticut, but we don't think any where very close to Brett's mission. The others are going to Tempe Arizona and Lubbock Texas. Suzan lives there right? I might need her address if she does. My district is really cool and we all get along really well. I probably wouldn't have spent too much time with most of them in high school. I think this has taught me that it is a lot easier to love people now. There are some really cool ones though. Like E. Rich. He is from long beach and we talk about cars a lot. His uncle has a lot of money and owns a bunch of Porches that he races as a hobby and E. Rich used to work for him working with the cars.

Elder Wood and Elder George

I saw S. Allred, E. Kennington, and E. Wallace all the first day at dinner. It was really nice. I saw S. Allred first and it helpped me a lot to have somebody to eat dinner with that I actually knew. I haven't seen her since. I have seen Skyler twice and Aaron twice though. Haven't had much time to talk to them though. It is my goal to run into Kaiden first day to help him out. The first two or three days weren't the most fun, but i didn't hate it. I am starting to like it a lot more. We didn't get gym until Friday evening, and it helped me a ton and I felt so much better after. All in all I am doing well. I have made a lot of friends who have been here a while that are helping me out a lot. Harvey Unga's first cousin is my zone leader and a pretty good friend and helps me out. His companion is cool, but maybe a little to strict. Speaking of, I heard the 49ers lost. I kinda wanted them to win. That might just be sympathy for Lance though.

Elder Wood and Elder Kennington from Roosevelt

Elder Kennington and Elder Wood

Elder Wood and Sister Allred from Roosevelt

Elder Wood and Elder Wallace from Roosevelt
Do you think their Grandpa's Young are smiling too?

They don't give you much time to write. Only a half hour. I only have like 4 minutes left. I want to figure out to hook up my camera so I can attach some pics but I didn't have time to go get a cord. I will just have to ask Skyler how he did it.

All in all I am doing well! So don't worry about me, I'm well taken care of, and even better fed!

Love ya!

Elder Wood!

P.S. Mom give Brett my face book password so he can help you out with it. If you put on there that I will be there an extra week put on there that I love letters and want them! (They kinda make my day..:)

P.S.S. Mom I didn't get your letter until the day after my first day, but it was a really good one and came at an even better time. Thanks! Love you!