Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving.

Anziano Simmons from our stake!

 Last week on Thursday we had Zone conference and we were surprised with a huge Thanksgiving feast! It was awesome. No we didn't eat tons of pasta and meatballs, we ate ham and mashed potatoes! It was really good.

 President Dibb spoke to us and trained us on a lot of things. We talked about some better ways we can use our iPads as a tool in our work. The iPads are seriously such amazing tools for teaching and proselyting.

 In Trento they have started to put up a bunch of Christmas trees and lights which run along the streets. They also have a humongous nativity scene in the park which is really cool.

Christmas is here in Trento

 Things here in Trento have started to pick up a little bit! With Christmas just around the corner, I can see that people are opening up a bit more. I seriously love this time of year. I feel like it's the best time of year to be a missionary because it's a chance for us to talk to people about the real importance of Jesus Christ and his divine purpose.

On Saturday there was a funeral for a lady in our branch who was 102 years old. Wow! So Anziano Yee and I helped out with that. On Sunday we did a pass by a less active member and we were surprised with dinner! On Monday I did another exchange with Anziano Sosa which was a blast. He speaks only Italian, Spanish, and some English so I got a good 24 hours of language practice with him haha. On Tuesday we were able to get Gilbert back on track with a new baptismal date! We also have another progressing investigator named Sammy who is a super solid guy. We had an amazing lesson with him and at the end of it, he told us he is willing to work towards a goal to be baptized!

 Today we traveled to Riva Del Garda again and it was even better than last week. I am in love with where I am! The people, culture, food, are all amazing. I face so many challenges each day out here, and although challenges aren't fun, I'm thankful for each and every one because they only make me stronger.

Riva Del Garda

Old war forts

Riva Del Garda

 Unfortunately we don't have anything crazy planned for Thanksgiving tomorrow but I found a piece of turkey and I hope I can figure out how to make it good hahah. I love this time of year! We get to celebrate what we're thankful for and also celebrate the birth of our Savior.

 Our mission is going full force with pass along cards and the "Because He Lives" videos. I am SO excited to go crazy with all of these amazing tools to bring people to the knowledge of the importance of Jesus Christ! I hope everyone can use this time of year as an opportunity to share with someone the message of Jesus Christ.

 I am so happy to be out here. It is incredible to see the hand of the Lord In this work. I know Heavenly Father loves us all and that he will direct our paths as long as we are willing to humble ourselves. I really am happier than I've ever been. I have a whole lot to be thankful for.

Till next week,
My brother, Jack always wants to see pictures of me holding cats.  So here's a cat that lives in Riva Del Garda.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Trying to Remember French from High School


An old family recipe called "Dad's Favorite" 

This last week was great. Trento is getting ready for Christmas! I love this city so much.

Things have been just a bit slow here. My companion and I have been working so hard each day trying to find new people. The work that we do each day is so satisfying and joyful.

On Saturday we did a pass by to this lady whose daughter is in our ward. She let us in and shared with us some super good cake! It is always fun to bed fed treats by the Italians.

Last Sunday night we went over the French/African's house and shared with them a message! We thought it would be really awkward and quiet because they only speak French and we only speak English and Some Italian. To be honest it was one of the most amazing experiences ever! We shared a video in French about living life with patience. I could tell they loved it so much. We felt inspired to show them this video because we knew that life was a little difficult for them. We shared with them the best we could that Heavenly Father loves them and knows what they are going through each day and as long as they hold onto this gospel, they will see so many blessings. In the end they all shared their testimonies which were all so strong. I've learned that the language of the spirit is universal. The spirit can still teach us things through the testimony of others even if the words they speak cannot be fully understood. Another amazing moment was when I was able to remember some of the French I learned in High School! I tried my best to bear a testimony in French which was super hard, but I was able to say what I wanted.

Today for Pday we went to Riva Del Garda, which is the biggest lake in Italy! It is also the wind surfing capital of Europe. It was so amazing. It was the first big body of water I have been to since I left home  haha.

Riva Del Garza
Riva Del Garza

I am so happy to be a tool in Heavenly Fathers work. As long as I push along and joyfully do this work, I will never have a bad day. I know that this is where I am supposed to be and what I am supposed to be doing. I will never forget the connection my mission call has with my family and Italian roots. I know My call was inspired by God! I am learning the language day by day and I have been getting so much more comfortable with not being afraid to talk to everyone! I love this work and I love this gospel.


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The beautiful Fall colors


I can't believe I have already been out for 12 weeks!

This week was fast Sunday even though we fasted last week haha.

I bore my testimony again! It definitely was a bit more refined than the first one I gave when I first got here. Sunday's are so great here. They can be a bit stressful because I have to translate the Sunday school class but it is so fun!

This week we were kept very busy. Anziano Yee and I really teaching to find more Italians to teach so we have been doing lots and lots of finding. At first I didn't like finding but I've gotten to like it the more times I do it.

The weather has been very nice here lately. The mountains and leaves have been changing colors and it all looks so beautiful! Trento has been getting ready for Christmas. They have been putting up lights and Christmas trees everywhere. I guess Trento is famous for their huge nativity scene they put up each year. I have seen them starting to build one of them and I can't wait to see it when it's all done!

My Morning View

Lately we have been going to Rovereto ( the city next to Trento) because we have a man from Nigeria named G there who we have been teaching! He has a baptismal date set for the 21st of this month! He loves everything we teach him. He has been progressing so much and we are so excited for him. Seeing the gospel change his life brings me more joy than anything in the world.

This is Brother G.  He is getting baptized in 10 days!

Today my companion and I went to Pergine to walk around and shop.


We also got some pretty awesome haircuts. The barber didn't really understand what I wanted so it looked pretty bad. I had to go home and fix it up after haha.] 

New Haircuts (I had to fix it up after)

Beautiful waterfall in Roverto
Me in Roverto

The work here is going well. I am so happy to be serving the lord. I have seen that Heavenly Father never ceases to answer my prayers. Of course there are days that are so hard and nothing works out the way we wanted but we must always have faith and a positive perspective of all things. Something very valuable I learned this week was about faith. Sometimes i feel very discouraged and I fear that I won't be able to do all the things the lord expects me to do. After all, I am only human and I do have weaknesses. I learned that it is through faith and trust in the lord that I am able to do his work with fullness and joy. We always need to remember that we never have to do anything in this life by ourselves. If we have enough faith and trust, Heavenly Father will be with us every step of the way. If things don't go the way we expected, we must remember Heavenly Father has a will and a plan for all of us.

I truly love what I am doing. I have always wanted to serve a mission and here I am! The lord has blessed me so much. I love you all!

Piazza Dante Park


 -Anziano Hogan

Thursday, November 5, 2015


Buongiorno Tutti!

Proprio Italioan carbonara by Sorella Benedetti!  It was heaven!

I had an amazing week.

On Thursday we decided to get some super cool desk plants to liven up the apartment. We have been finding decorations so that we can get into the Christmas spirit! We definitely are continuing to make super good food for lunch. Here in Italy Pranzo(lunch) is the biggest meal of the day and that's when we make our biggest meals. We are also supposed to do language study during the lunch hours because the streets are empty during this time. It is really fun getting used to the culture and everything here.

My companion and I have been having some great success in this amazing town of Trento! We have been doing so so much finding lately because we really want to have more investigators. In the last couple weeks we have found 4 people who want to know more about the church and 3 of the are Italian! I sound surprised because it isn't very often that we get to teach Italians in Trento! We are very excited.

Some African guys Anziano Baraclough and I taught during my exchange in Bolzano

On Halloween we didn't dress up and go trick or treating haha. Instead we watched stake conference and taught some lessons haha. We also helped out at this party for disabled children. It was so much fun! My companion and I were fasting though so we couldn't eat any of the food, which was torture! Here in Italy, Halloween is really only a thing for the children. I saw only a few people dressed up and there weren't really any decorations up.

Sunday we were walking home from church and about to break our fast when a member stopped their car and picked us up and made us the best lunch in the world! It was my first meal with real genuine Italians!


It was amazing. She made us some proprio Italiano riso. And later in the evening, Anziano Yee and I did pass-by a non members home. It was a miracle that they let us inside and they even made us food! They also had this amazing piano and they had me play it for them. Sunday was a super great day!
On Monday and Tuesday I did another Scambio(exchange) in Bolzano with Anziano Baraclough who is from Florida. We had so much fun and we were super busy all day. We taught 4 lessons which all went great!

I have learned tons and tons of things while being here. One very important thing I have learned here is how important patience is on a mission. I have also learned that if I pray and ask Heavenly Father for either more patience, charity, or humility or any other Christlike attribute, he will almost always give me a huge test/challenge that will help me grow with the specific attribute I need help with. If I ask for more patience, he will give me a huge challenge that requires more patience than ever. I learned  that that's how he strengthens us.

It's really the only way we can grow. So I've prepared myself- if I ask for charity, most likely someone or something will be put in my path, easy or hard, which will only help me grow. Missions are full of challenges- but after every challenge I look back and recognize how much I grew from it.

I love the work I am doing out here. I love working hard. The language for me is coming along! I am so grateful for this gospel. Like I say in all my emails, I see it literally change people's lives. We teach people that have no money or job, yet they have the gospel and that is everything.  This church is true and I know that with out a doubt. I am so so happy to be here doing the right thing!
Ciao tutti! I love and miss you all!

-Anziano Hogan

Being goofy with Anziano Baraclough and some people decided to photo bomb.
The 3 meter pizza!