February 25, 2013
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)
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!
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.