Wednesday, February 24, 2016

I couldn't stop smiling the whole three hours.

Hello Everyone!!

This week was really great! The weather here warmed up a lot last week which was a first since like November. Unfortunately it is going to rain all week next week but its okay because the rain makes things more adventurous and the mountains will turn white again! Trento is so beautiful!

With my companion, Elder Lott, looking over Trento

The war monument in Trento

On Saturday night we went with our branch president to the house of a less active member who is pretty old and has a really bad problem with smoking. I have met with this man every week for the last 5 months and we haven't been able to get him to come back to church. We had a super powerful lesson about the importance of the Sabbath and how our branch really loves him and needs him. Well this Sunday, right after sacrament meeting began, this man walked into the door dressed all nice in his suit with a bright smile on his face. I was seriously so happy; I couldn't stop smiling the whole three hours.

On Monday we headed down to Verona to do an exchange with the elders there. I was with Anziano Bickam from Iowa and we worked hard. We did some tracting in the downtown area of Verona for about 4 hours so we were able to meet some nice and interesting people. We were walking and biking all day so we decided to make doughnuts that night and ton of pancakes the next day before going back to work so that was really fun!

Me during the exchange in Verona

Me and Anziano Bickam on our exchange in Verona

We made pancakes with the zone leaders in Verona and they were so good!

One of our investigators who was going to be baptized this weekend is being baptized in the middle of March because she moved about 2 hours away and we can only see here once or twice a week. What is really awesome is she told us she will drive the 2 hours up to us because she wants us to teach her and she loves the members here. It is so cool to see people so dedicated and motivated to do something they know to be true.

I am really so grateful to be here in Italy. It is a beautiful country with such great culture and people. The mission is definitely not an easy task but it sure does bring us some of the happiest moments life will ever offer. With lots of hard work and tough moments comes some of the happiest and most fulfilling moments ever.

This is a classic Trentino Strudel covered in custard.  Yummm!

The pizza I made this week

Gelato on Day

There was a guy on a stand up paddle board.  The tiny wave along the Verona river.  I was seriously so happy to this.  This was the first surfer I've seen in six months

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The best medicine for having a bad day is....

Hello my family and Friends!

Crazy week with Zone conference, my birthday, and an exchange with Bolzano. Such a good week!
The birthday on the mission was definitely an interesting one but it was still really fun making the most out of it. That day just happened to be the most wild, busiest, and  slightly unlucky days yet but it was also one of the most fun days yet. I did make a birthday cake for myself thanks to Rebekah who sent me all the ingredients haha. OH my that cake was very very yummy.

Birthday cake...Ingredients from Rebekah

 Zone Conference was great! It is always fun seeing people you know and friends from the MTC. We talked a lot about teaching with the spirit and pre-paring ourselves well for every lesson. We all got a cord to hook up our ipads to any TV so that we can share videos and messages to families and investigators. We are truly so lucky to ha
ve the ability to use this technology. If we use it wisely we can do so much great and effective work with it.

A pday last week!  Playing Settlers.

Train ride home after the birthday party.

 We did an exchange this week with Bolzano and I took Anziano Olsen up to Trento with me. He is a farmer from Idaho and he's a cool guy. We did a lot of work and had lots of fun. Monday night after teaching a couple people, we did some street contacting as we walked home. As we were walking and talking to people, we came across this cool park that had some pull up bars. I decided I would give it a quick try to see if I still had it in me. Before we knew it, it turned into a little competition with me and Anziano Olsen. Then this guy walked up to us so we challenged him haha. After some minutes we started talking about the gospel and we ended up giving him a book of mormon after testifying of it. It was great! I'm sure glad I tried to see if I could still do some pull-ups.

A nice birthday meal from English class members

 Last night we ate dinner at the Bolts house. They are the service couple from Switzerland. We had an amazing Swiss meal called RĊschti which is like sausages and hash browns. It was buonissomo!!!

Swiss dinner called Roschti!  With the most amazing napkin in the world.

 For Pday today, we were given permission to leave our zone and spend the day in Milano. We walked around the Duomo and got the best gelato In the world!! There are way more people in Milano than Trento which was cool to see because there aren't very many people in my city.

Duomo in Milano

 Wow being a missionary is so fun! Man it's a ton of work and it's not easy but it is so extremely fulfilling helping people become more like Christ. I have certainly learned the importance of living everyday the best that you can and finding ways to serve and help other people. The best medicine for having a bad day is to turn away from your self and sacrifice some time to help someone else. Love and miss you all!

 -Anziano Hogan

New haircut


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Work to be done, cats everywhere, snow, mountains, and this gospel

Ciao Mia Famiglia e miei amici!

So many great and wonderful things happened this week. Last Thursday Anziano Beaulac finished his mission and went home so he will be missed! Anziano Lott from Washington is my new companion and I can tell it will be a great transfer with him. I will most likely be transferred to a new city in about 4 weeks but we will see!  We had a baptism for Gilbert this weekend!! It was so great. I have seen this man since the day I got to Trento about 4 1/2 months ago and I have seen him change completely! That is the beauty of this gospel.

Sunday was crazy. I confirmed Gilbert and I translated his testimony in front of the branch and that was pretty tough but it went well. I gave Gerard (our new convert) the priesthood which was a special experience for both of us. We had a really tasty lunch (all Italain meals are amazing) with some members and our investigator Enrica who wants to get baptized the end of this month!

Amazing Italian Desserts

 Our other investigator from Mozambique won't be getting baptized on my birthday because she is going home this weekend, but she will get baptized there which we are all so happy about- that is still the best birthday present.

 Trento is beautiful as ever. It rained for a good 3 days and today it stopped and there is snow all over the mountains!!! Sunday night, Anzaino Lott and I had to walk home in the rain but we found a potato that we kicked a good mile and that was very fun. It goes without saying but its breathtaking where I am right now. Work to be done, cats everywhere, snow, mountains, and this gospel. Life is great as a missionary despite the many challenges.

My new companion, Elder Lott

 This week I learned a whole lot about the decisions we make as humans and how it determines everything. In the end, the decisions we make define who we are. It isn't easy to always choose to do the right thing but that is why we have this gospel and prayer, and the Holy Ghost to help us with some of the biggest decisions we make. If we want to become better people and examples, we need to first think about the decisions we make. I have a testimony that Heavenly Father has a plan for all of us. Easy or hard, Heavenly Father will give us the comfort and counsel we need to succeed and overcome all that comes our way. I am learning so much, the language is improving, and I love
the members here more than I ever have. They are amazing!! Till next week!


 Anziano Hogan


Colorful Mezzacarona

Colorful!  This is in Mezzacarona!

Candid shot of me in Mezzacarona

Thursday, February 4, 2016

A new companion and staying in Trento

Ciao family and friends!

Such a great week again! I can't believe it is already February. I love February!  We have been pretty blessed here in Trento so we have been busy all the time teaching such awesome investigators.

Last Saturday night we had African culture night at the chapel and it was so much fun! Pretty stressful getting everyone and all the food together but it worked out perfectly! There was food from Nigeria and the Ivory Coast. It was really interesting but good. Watching the Italians eat African food with their hands was priceless. We got a lot of new people who are now interested in the church so it was a huge success.

African Culture Night


 The next day, Sunday, Anziano Beaulac spoke in church and it was really good. He will be missed! After church we had lunch at a members house and we ate a famous Trentino dish called Canniderly. It was amazing! Its the size of a tennis ball and its made of bread, flower, cheese, and meat. Molto Buono!!

 We had our last district meeting last Monday with the best district ever! We were going to do an exchange with Bolzano but the elders there had to pack for transfers. Yesterday, a man named Samson called us and said he wants to be taught by the missionaries again! Well we met with him and he brought his friend and they both want to learn more. So excited! We have a baptism this weekend for Gilbert who is from Nigeria. He is a solid guy who has changed completely into such a great soft hearted humble man. Im am so excited for it! We also will be having a baptism next week on Friday the 12th on my birthday! The best birthday present ever, we are hoping all works out.

 Transfers were this week! I am staying in Trento for at least another 5 weeks and I am getting Anziano Lott who is from Washington. I hear he is a great guy who likes to work hard.

I really love all this great work and I seriously love being a missionary. I know that in the grand scheme of things, the challenges we receive in life are really blessings. I am grateful for all the ups
and downs in life and here in the mission because I have grown to be a stronger child of God. If we continue to be positive about all things life will just be way better.

Have a great week everyone! Love you all!

 -Anziano Hogan

The BEST district!