Wednesday, January 27, 2016

We had 22 lessons!

Ciao Family and Friends!

We had such a great week again! This week was the most lessons I've ever had so far in the mission. We had 22 lessons! Our mission average is 9 so I think we did pretty well. The new investigators we have been teaching are all super awesome! This week we got a new investigator and she teaches religion at a multilingual school here in Trento. We thought teaching the gospel to a religion teacher would be hard but she was so fascinated in our message and said she will read the Book of Mormon and wants to be taught more! So right now we have about 4 people who we regularly teach and I'm almost positive that they will be baptized by the end of February. Gilbert, who we have been teaching forever finally was interviewed and will be baptized on February 6th!

Nalia, who is one of our new investigators has a baptismal date set for my birthday February 12! A baptism on my birthday would seriously be the best.

I'm sad because my companion is getting ready to go home next week. I have learned so much from him and we work super hard and well together. He is a great missionary.

I've learned a whole lot here! I have been slowly getting over the awkward stage of learning the language which is such a good feeling. I have a long ways to go still but I'm happy to see that I'm improving. Transfer calls are this weekend and I'm super positive I am going to stay in Trento for another transfer which I really hope happens because a lot is going on! It is such a cool thing to see people change completely into a new and improved person. As we continue to meet with some of our investigators I notice that their smiles get brighter and brighter each time because the gospel makes them so happy! It makes me so happy too. I would not want to be anywhere else. I love what I am doing so much. I have never been happier.

A city 30 minutes from us where a member lives.. Caldonazzo
The cat in the fruit basket at a members house.  Ha ha...I loved this!
Cookies I made!  With candy cane inside.

Love you all!


 -Anziano Hogan

Wednesday, January 20, 2016


Ciao Friends and Family! 

Definitely the most successful week of my mission yet. So many great things happened for us! We had a baptism for Gerard! He seriously has the strongest testimony ever and has been ready to hear the gospel long before we started teaching him. 

Gerard's baptism!

Gerard and his family

The story with him is all a miracle. Several months ago his family (Who only speak french) who are all members of the Church came to Italy from the Ivory Coast of Africa. One day Gerard's brother ran up to us and told us he is a member and wants to find the church. The mother said a prayer one day asking that her family would find us and it was on that same day that we found them and taught them. So we brought them to church and they have come ever since. They have always brought their non member brother Gerard who was really interested in the church, but we couldn't teach him because my french wasn't really good enough. Well, Anziano Beaulac came as my new companion and he speaks fluent french (total miracle). Long story short he was so ready to hear and accept the gospel and was baptized last Saturday. I was lucky enough to baptize this man. I memorized the baptismal prayer in French and was able to say it no problem in front of all these people. It was such a unique and spiritual experience I really will never forget. Gerard bore his testimony after he was baptized and said that he had been searching everywhere for the truth in different religions and finally found it when he heard our message.

Dinner at Gerard's family's house.  They made us traditional food from the Ivory Coast of Africa.  It was super good!

Maroca rice and fish and stew.  SO good. From the Ivory Coast.

There were 4 investigators who came to the baptism! We were so happy that they came and felt the spirit. The next day 5 investigators came to church (2 of them were new) to see Gerard receive the gift of the holy ghost. It was the best!

We got 4 new investigators this week who are all university students at the University here in Trento. We received a self referral from one of these students( Which is so rare!) So we brought a member with us and went over to their house and 2 more students were there all wanting to hear our message. They all want us to come back! The    are all from different parts of Italy. The other student we have taught is a friend of a Sister in our ward. She is from Mozambique Africa and she loved our message and wants to keep learning more and get baptized! They are all seriously so great and so ready to find the truth. Our branch is so so excited that we are teaching university students because its very rare and also our branch needs more young adults. We have been teaching more of our new investigators with members which really helps so much.

We had so many amazing days but also lots of very tuff challenging days. No matter what though, I know Heavenly Father gives us challenges to help us grow, otherwise we would be in a state of non
progression. He also gives us so many blessings as we follow and do what he asks. I have seen so many blessings. So Many!! I love my mission so much.

I think on my blog it was mention I had some minor health issues. These last couple weeks have been a bit challenging but I'm feeling a little better. I'm grateful to know that Heavenly Father loves me and has been hearing my prayers. I'm grateful to feel so loved. I truly would not want to be anywhere else. These miracles, spiritual moments and even trials are priceless and I wouldn't want't to trade them for anything.

I am so grateful we were able to baptize Gerard this week. Baptism is just the first step. He wants to go to the temple and serve a mission and have a family. This really brings me more joy than anything in the world. I love you all! Have a great week! Thank you for all your prayers!


-Anziano Hogan

Package from Rebekah!

Wow... This was a good day ....haha!

In front of Romeo and Juliet's balcony.  

Burger King with Gerard!

Thursday, January 14, 2016


Ciao ciao!

Another great week in the life! It
was a great start with zone training on Thursday. Those are always really fun and spiritual. My companion gave his "dying testimony" which was really good but sad because he's going home so soon!. Im pretty lucky to have such a great and experienced missionary as my companion.

My companion after his final testimony

As for this week, our city just built a Burger King! So we went last week and it was really good haha.

Fridays are now Pizza Fridays, so Anziano Beaulac and I made some very good pizzas! I made the dough and everything so I was pretty happy and they tasted good!

Our AMAZING pizza!
Our mission President, President Dibb, came to Trento this weekend! He is really a great guy. He interviewed each of us and he came to all 3 hours of church which was kind of stressful but so great! President Dibb gave a really great talk about the Book of Mormon and how we should invite others to read it. It really motivated our members to help us with the work which was so great. After church we were invited to have lunch at a members house. It was amazing, especially because the grandma made it and Italian grandmas are known for cooking some pretty delicious things.
We did an exchange on Monday so i stayed in Trento and my companion went to Bolzano. It was so much fun!
The view from our members house

Our French/African investigator (soon to be member) is seriously the most amazing guy in the world. I taught him the other night while Anz. Beaulac was in Bolzano so it was up to me again to use my French. It all worked out and it was so spiritual. We showed him a General Conference talk on the Holy Ghost. He was so lit up and full of the spirit and he shared how much he is looking forward to his baptism this weekend. last week He had asked me if I could baptize him. I was seriously struck with so much joy when he asked me. I have been trying to memorize the baptismal prayer in French! which is really interesting and fun, I really hope I say it right. I am truly so happy
to be a tool in Heavenly Fathers work!

All you can eat sushi

The other night I felt like we needed to visit a lest active members house. He was home which was great! and we shared with him a powerful message about how Heavenly Father can give us the power to make difficult, yet necessary, changes in our lives. He has a problem with smoking and we are helping him come to know that Heavenly Father can give him the extra strength to quit. At the end he said he was very grateful for our message. We asked if we could help him with anything and he said he is hungry and doesn't have the money to by any food. So Anziano Beaulac and I went to the store and bought him enough food to last him for about a week. Our Branch President told us to do this and tell him it was from the Branch. I can't even describe the look on his
face when we showed up at his door just 15 minutes later with food. He was so grateful. We were so grateful to be in instrument in helping this great man.

I sound like a broken record because I say this every week, but I am truly so grateful to be a missionary. The most fulfilling and joyful things I have ever done! Its an honor to be doing this work. I can't wait to tell you all how the baptism goes! I am so excited for it all.

Till next week! Ciao Tutti!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Snow in Trento

Buoun Anno!!

Wow it is weird to think that its 2016 already! For New Years we had to be home early so Anziano Beaulac and I played some rounds of UNO which was pretty fun! ( Thank you Grandma) We both woke up at 11:55 to celebrate and it was pretty crazy and loud outside. To start the new year, for lunch we made some fresh pizzas in our kitchen while listening to Italian opera, so that was pretty fun haha. 

On Saturday it SNOWED! It was dumping snow for a good hour and it was super cool!! We were able to go to the refugee camp and have some nice hot chocolate and some great lessons. 

So our investigator who was going to get baptized this weekend decided that he wants to have his baptism after his birthday which is in a few weeks. Not this weekend but the one after, our French/African investigator is getting baptized! His name is Gerard and he is seriously one of the most amazing guys in the world. His testimony is so strong! Im bummed because I'm not really able to say everything I want to him (because he only speaks french) but I try and I'm always able to feel the spirit so strong when he shares his testimony. We have another new Investigators who is Italian, from here in Trento. He tells us that he wants to come to church and be taught by us more! When we met with him we found he smokes about 30 cigarettes a day. What is super cool is he is letting us make a plan and goal for him to help him stop. My fingers are crossed! We are trying to help him realize that through much prayer and effort, Heavenly Father can give him the extra strength to overcome his addiction. 

Yesterday on Tuesday, Anziano Beaulac and I made a BUNCH of doughnuts to give to our investigators, neighbors, and members. We thought it would be a good way to brighten up their day. Well so far its been a success but I've eaten too many doughnuts. 
My mozzarella creation

This week I seriously learned so much! Something I really thought about a lot was about prayer and receiving a testimony. Prayer is one of the most powerful tools in gaining a testimony. We constantly tell our investigators that we are here to teach them about Jesus Christ and the restored Gospel and also to help them build a relationship with Heavenly Father. We cant really persuade someone enough to believe, they have to receive a spiritual confirmation from God for themselves to know. Its also very important to know that Action is required to obtain a testimony or receive an answer. We have to search the scriptures, attend church, and do all the things we are asked and We will receive an answer.

I'm constantly amazed at how much I learn each day. I am so grateful for everything that I have. This is truly the most fulfilling and most uplifting thing I have ever done. I love this work so much! I love all of you! 

Buon Anno Tutti!!

Anziano Hogan
The African "camp" where we go almost every day  And that's the famous football table.

It was some holiday in Italy today that I've never heard of.  It's like Halloween I guess  ha ha.

I made chocolate chip cookies!

Friday, January 1, 2016

A great suggestion on making goals this year, from Willy


I hope everyone had the best Christmas ever!

I made chocolate chip cookies

Anziano Beaulac and I had a super good Christmas. We woke up and opened the presents we had gotten each other and then we blasted Christmas music and made doughnuts. I don't think I have ever listened to more Christmas music in my life but I loved it.

Christmas Morning

We then went over to the Aliberti's house from Christmas lunch which was seriously amazing. I got to skype HOME!! and then we went to our Branch President's house to eat some pasta and watch FROZEN!! It truly was a successful Christmas as a missionary. The weeks leading up to Christmas have been full of teaching as many people as possible about the true meaning of Christmas which made this one of the most special Christmases I've ever experienced. There are lots of nativity scenes and things about Christ here which made me super happy to see. Being a missionary is awesome!
Church on Sunday was crazy because I had to translate all 3 hours so I was crazy stressed but it was pretty fun and great practice.

Christmas Eve Dinner

Tuesday was another day of miracles! When we were finding people to teach in the park near our house, we met a man named Alessandro! I totally felt inspired to ask him a question and he immediately denied us and said no, not to mention his huge German Shepard staring at us. My initial reaction was to keep walking and say buon giornata ( have a good day), But Anziano Beaulac and I felt like we should continue to talk to him. As we were persistent in talking to him he completely opened up to us and had us sit down next to him. I was seriously amazed! As we continued to speak to him, the annoyed look on his faced turned into a smile. In the end of it all he asked us when we can meet again! We are planning to see him this Sunday!

This bike has my name on it!  ha ha!

From this single experience I learned that many people need the gospel in their lives, they just don't know it yet until they hear it and feel the spirit. This is why I can't judge people and say "Oh they are smoking and have a 1 foot long beard and tattoos everywhere so he probably won't be interested" but sure enough, that guy is actually the guy that is willing to listen ( this really happened to me). So I've learned to talk to literally anyone no matter how scary or annoyed they look.

Right after this experience, one of our referrals emailed us and asked us when we can come over and teach them! We were seriously so excited because all the online referrals we have been getting haven't really been successful at all.

Yesterday, Anziano Beaulac and I also took a bus out into this city we have never been to find this man because we knew the man who contacted us his lost phone. Well, we had no idea where to go but we truly were led by the spirit because we got there and never were we lost. A man named Godwin from Nigeria walked with us and we were able to find the man's brother! Godwin wants us to bring him to church and also wanted us to drive a bus to the camp(where most Nigerians live) and pick up a bunch of them and bring them to church this Sunday. So that's in our list of things to do ha ha.

I can't believe the new year is already here! In district meeting we talked about how we shouldn't make some big new years goal (unless its good and realistic), instead we should make effective goals each day, week, and month and get ourselves actively involved in good things!

Well, many great things have been happening for us. We are having a baptism next weekend Jan 9th for our investigator Vihceslav!!! Seriously so happy. And we have another one for our French investigator Gerard the week after!

I had a super cool experience with Garard last week. I was able to bear my testimony to him in French which was one of the coolest things ever! It's always Anz. Beaulac who teaches him because he speaks French. I was pretty scared because I haven't spoken very much French since High School but I said what I wanted and it felt so good and the spirit was so strong.

Well things are great! Of course there are hard days but I know the good outweighs the bad by a lot. We are having tons of fun. The language for me is getting better and better each week! I am definitely learning how to make some gooood foods which I'm so happy about. I am so happy to be here!
I had to take another cat picture

The nativity scene we put together

Buon Anno Tutti!!!