Wednesday, September 23, 2015


Ciao a tutti!!

This is my last email to you all here at the MTC. Things are winding down pretty quick here and I'll be in Italy before I know it. I have experienced many challenges and even more spiritual experiences. I have learned so much about myself and about my purpose as a missionary. Each day as I learn more and more Italian, I grow closer and closer to Italy because I know that Heavenly Father has prepared people waiting to hear me teach them the truth. 

This past week, my companion taught a woman over Skype who lives in Milan, Italy! It was the most amazing thing being able to teach a real Italian about the church! This last Sunday was such a treat for all missionaries. We had Brother Newell from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Music From the Spoken Word come to the MTC to broadcast live. It was the first time in history they have gone to the MTC in to broadcast Music and the Spoken Word, and I was in the choir!
One thing I don't think I have mentioned is how amazing our teachers are. Fratello Gessel, Sorella Miles and Sorella Russel have all served in Italy and they are amazing people. Without them, I don't know if my MTC experience would be the same. I forgot to take a picture with them so I'll try and send one when I have my next Pday in Italy! 
My Zone
That reminds me, We got our flight plans last Friday!! Probably the best moment ever. We leave the MTC at 7am this Tuesday and fly out of SLC airport at 12:30pm and get to Chicago at 4:34pm(chicago time) Then we Fly from Chicago to Frankfurt, Germany and arrive at 9:45am(Germany Time) Then off to Milan and we get to Milan around 12:30pm in the afternoon on Wednesday! I was told that when we arrive in Italy, we get amazing Italian food and go straight to the Duomo to start handing out copies of the Book of Mormon! The next day we meet our new trainers, get our new area assignments, and off I go to some amazing place in Italy. That will be the most exciting part of my mission yet.
The thing I am most grateful for about the MTC is how I have been able to strengthen my testimony. The more I read the Book of Mormon, the thinner the veil gets. In these last 5 weeks, I have said countless prayers asking for help, comfort, guidance, and strength. Every single time Heavenly Father has answered my prayers. I cannot wait to begin my journey in Italy because I know that Heavenly Father assigned me to serve in this mission for a reason. Who knows, maybe I will get assigned to the Genoa area which is where some of my family's blood relatives live. Like my dad, I have such a love for Italy and for the people - even though I have not met them yet. I know that this church is true with every part of me. I have seen miracles here. I cannot wait to share the truth. I have left my family and friends for two years so that other families can live together for eternity. 
(I may not have a P-day right away when I get to Italy so there is a chance my next letter wont be for a week or two) .
I scripture that I came across this week that I love is 1 Nephi 17:3
Till next time.
I found a cat!!
-Anziano Hogan

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Week four from William.hogan@myldsmail.net

Buongiorno e Tutti!!!

Sono multo emozionata per Milano!!!! Week 4 is out of the way! After being here for a month, the MTC has become a lot more comfortable. It is really not that bad because we get to study Italian all the time and I seriously love Italian SO much. It is the most amazing language out there- I think.. And I'm so lucky that I get to learn it! The 3 elders and I in my district have started doing this thing call Speak Your Language. We go a certain amount of time where we are only allowed to speak Italian and nothing else. So far we have gone a whole entire day and a few half days doing SYL. Now that we only have like 12 days left here, we have decided that every day as we speak to each other, we will first say what we know in Italian( which is surprisingly a lot) and say the rest in English and write down what we don't know so we can study it.

Our district has the best teachers in the world! They make the 10 hours of class each day bearable. So far, my companion and I have taught somewhere up to 45 or more lessons- Only in Italian. Most of them are taught to our teachers playing the role of an investigator they had in Italy so the situation is fairly realistic. Some lessons are also taught to Italians who live in Italy. This week my companion and I are teaching a 30 minute lesson over Skype to a member living in Italy. So cool! Seriously nothing in the world makes me happier that to help someone come closer to Jesus Christ.


On a slightly different note, something that I am devastated about is that I am turning white!! You know when you're a missionary when you skin tone is one shade away from the glowing watch tan. At least I haven't lost anymore weight. I lost 6 pounds since I came here. Its weird though because I still look the same. Every morning I go super hard in the gym because If I don't I would probably get chubby from sitting all day. After the gym, the elders and I will play spike ball instead of Frisbee. Spike ball is way more fun because everyone would play it at the beach and it makes me feel at home. Every night before we go to bed we will play a game of horse with the basketball hoop we have and that is super fun and it gets pretty intense. Every Sunday and Tuesday, the Elders and I have been doing choir which is so amazing. Elder Eggit, the director for the Tabernacle Choir, is our director!! There are 1,070 missionaries in the choir so you could imagine how awesome we all sound when we sing.
The twins sent me a package.  Thank you!

  Knowing that our time here at the MTC is winding down makes me pretty happy because Italy has been calling my name for a VERY long time. We get our flight plans this Friday which will be like Christmas!! We all cannot wait!
 Brody Earnest and Me
Justin Sterner and Me

On a slightly different note, Last week a sister in my district lost a family member and she asked me to give her a priesthood blessing. I gladly did so and when I placed my hands upon her head I had absolutely no idea what to say. It was when I began the blessing when words filled my mind. Heavenly Father was speaking to this Sister through me and I know that to be true. The spirit I felt in that moment was almost tangible. I felt as if a tunnel of fire was surrounding all of us it was that powerful. I am so grateful to have been given the opportunity to perform that blessing.
Just one more P-day here and after that I'll be writing you from some beautiful town in Italy. I have already started to grow so much love for the Italians. I know that Heavenly Father has people there who are prepared for me to teach them the truth. I love sharing the gospel more than anything because it is true. I have seen it change lives as it has changed mine so much. I have seen real miracles happen here almost every single day. I have come to the knowledge that this is the true church because I have read the Book Of Mormon and have prayed about it. I want to share with you some of my most favorite scriptures: 1 Nephi 3:7   1 Nephi 9:6   D&C 90:11   D&C 58:27
I love you all. I am so so happy to be a missionary. A mission is very challenging, yet so very rewarding. Till next week! CIAO!
-Anziano Hogan

Thursday, September 10, 2015

AN ANSWERED PRAYER (william.hogan@myldsmail.net)

Buongiorno everyone!!!
I am half way done with the MTC and in just 19 days I depart for Milano! We are all so anxious to get out there and serve the Italians. The Italian has gotten so much better!! At times it can get hard, but with the spirit and faith, anything is possible here. I have taught about 20 lessons already- all in Italian of course. It definitely gets frustrating at times because I am unable to fully express myself but I a can at least get a meaningful lesson across which is great! Here I have learned that we cant just expect to receive the gift of tongues because we are set apart missionaries, we have to study intensely and learn as much as we can. I have been working so hard each day because I know that Heavenly Father will make up the rest if I try my best. And I have seen that so many times! 
My comp next to me, next to him is elder esmay, and next to him closest to the camera is elder Anderson.,, the famous youtube cat kid. 

     This week was a week of many challenges and also miracles. So on Thursday of last week, I woke up and both of my eyes were SUPER red. I seriously looked like a zombie. Later that day I decided to go to the medical clinic there and ask if they could tell me what was wrong. They said it was a side effect from the cold I had last week. They ordered me a prescription which I was so thankful for. Nothing is worse than having to teach a lesson in Italian with both of your eyes looking like the eyes of zombie. My companion and I went to pick up the prescription which helped a ton!
When we got back to the classroom I could not find my wallet anywhere!! I ran back to the travel office to ask if I had maybe left it in the shuttle and they said no. So I ran back to the clinic at BYU to see if I had left it there and I could not find it anywhere! I was devastated because I had everything important in that wallet. The next few days were full of phone calls to home(pretty happy about that), the bank, and the DMV(I was on hold for 2 hours). I was able to replace almost everything accept for the $90 in my wallet. I prayed over and over again. I fasted for 24 hours on Sunday and prayed even more. By Tuesday I had accepted that maybe I wouldn't ever find it. Well, this morning while at the temple, I said a prayer and thanked Heavenly Father for helping me get all of the important items replaced. After the temple I had read a letter from my mom saying that my little brother, Jack, had fasted for the first time last Sunday so that I could find it. Sure enough, the front desk called me up and they had found it in one of the VANS!! I couldn't believe it. I know that fasting and prayer works. Although most everything in it was cancelled( because I thought it was stolen) I am still grateful for having it. My mom told me that maybe this was Heavenly Father's way of telling me that I need to be careful in Italy because something much more valuable could be stolen or lost and I should be more careful. 


     This week, Bishop Causee ( the man who handles the finance of the church) spoke to us. His brother-in law is the mission president of the France Paris mission! That made me think of my cousin Jamison. He told us that we need to be bold missionaries and never forget to open our mouths to people. His wife told us that it is okay for us to feel inadequate as long as we rely on our Heavenly Father. That is so very true. We all have inadequacies and weaknesses but only to make us stronger. In Ether 12:27, it reads " I give unto men weakness that they may become humble" And if we humble ourselves He will make the week things become strong unto us. 

  Before I end, I just want to say how grateful I am for all of you. I am so happy to be serving a mission. I have found out already that it is and will be the most difficult thing I will ever do but the most rewarding thing I will ever do. 

I started reading the Book of Mormon last may and I fisished it yesterday! Evertime I read it, I know that it is the most true and correct book on this earth. I am not sure how many of you read my emails but if you have time, do yourself a favor and read it and pray about it. It will change your life as it has surely changed mine. I miss you all and love you so much. I would not want to be anywhere else. Till next week! ( read: Moroni 10:4 Ether 12:6 and 3 Nephi 11)
-Anziano Hogan
Thank you grandma!!!!


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Io so che la chiesa e vera!! This week has been such a roller coaster. Dallin H. Oaks spoke to us all last night which was so amazing! I can't believe I was able to hear an apostle speak to us! I really want to share what he said so I'll do that near the end.
We started this week off on such a high when we discovered that we are allowed to play the pianos whenever we have free time (which is super rare). I can't even describe how happy I was to know that because I love playing the piano. Now whenever I get super stressed and when I have free time, I'll make my companion go with me so that I can play. He just has to sit there and listen to me but he says he likes it so I'm glad.
The next day was really bad, though. I came down with a fever of 100.2 and I felt so sick. I had no energy and had to miss class so that I could sleep and try to recover. It was horrible because I had a bunch of down time to worry about home. Its not fun being super sick in a place that is not home. Before I went to bed that night, the MTC said that I had to go to the urgent care in the morning. I was totally okay with that because I needed to get better so that I wouldn't have to miss class! On my way back from the front office, I decided to stop by my classroom and say goodnight. While I was there, I felt prompted to ask my companion for a blessing. He willfully said he would- It was the first blessing he has ever given. It was extremely powerful and so uplifting. He said that I will be blessed with a speedy recover and the knowledge that Heavenly Father with answer my prayers. When I woke up in the morning, I walked over to the urgent care and sure enough, my fever had completely vanished. I didn't feel 100 percent better but I sure felt like something other than my own body healed my sickness. I knew that Heavenly Father blessed me to be healthy enough to attend class and teach investigators. The night I was sick, I said a prayer and asked Heavenly Father that I would be just healthy enough to teach and learn. I was blessed with those things and I know that this was a miracle. 

Despite any of the challenges we face, our district is seriously a big happy family. Sometimes when we get super restless or stressed out, we will have a push-up competition or a wall sitting competition. It is so much fun!! I am so lucky because all of the elders I live with are pretty healthy guys- for the most part. They all like doing super hard work outs which I love because I don't want to get fat here. I have actually lost like 4 pounds for some reason. I have been eating a lot and working out a lot too. After we do our hard workouts, we always run over to the huge field and play an intense game of frisbee. We are getting WAY too good at Frisbee. I'm starting to feel like one of those old creepy guys who play in their speedos at the beach.( I hope that wasnt too graphic) It is so much fun though!! Oh and something I want to add is that one of the Elders in my district, named Anziano Anderson, Is the SAME exact person as Kramer from Seinfeld!!! He is hilarious! The things he says are priceless. I've made a list of the things he has said. I'll share that another time maybe. He is also my favorite because he got 40,000,000 views on a cat compilation video he made on you tube!!! I have probably seen it a million times before I came here. 
Ill now end with what Elder Oaks taught to all of us. He spoke mostly about Preach my Gospel and very important teaching tips. His wife said that as we grow closer to Christ, we will have more light! Which is so true. Elder Oaks taught that the Spirit is the real teacher in all lessons and to all investigators. Because this is true, we, as missionaries must keep ourselves clean and focused so that we can have the spirit testify to the investigators that what we teach is true. We need to be instruments in the hands of our Heavenly Father. Not just me as a missionary but all of you. If we ever had a challenge, something that will always help you is to loose yourself in the service of others. As Elder Bednar once said. "By loosing yourselves in the service of others, you will find yourself."
Of course times get stressful and tough here, but I have learned that prayer really does work. Many times I have prayed, asking that I can get through a tough moment and I have seen over and over my prayers being answered. I love where I am. I have never been more happy in my entire life. I have learned so much about Jesus Christ and my purpose as a missionary. The language is going great! the gift of tongues is so real! I cant even believe that I have been able to learn so much Italian. I can now hold a conversation and teaching has gotten way easier!! I love this church and I know that it can bless our lives. Any burden, sorrow or pain can be taken away if we follow the Savior. I love you all!!
-Anziano Hogan