Thursday, December 22, 2016

Buon Natale a Tutti!

Buon Natale e Aguri a Tutti!!

 Che bellissima, questa stagione di Natale!

 Just a few more days and its Christmas! Holy moly we have gone so hard with the 2016 Christmas initiative, people seem to really love the #SiiUnaLuce video. Christmas time definitely does soften the hearts of people.
Amazing lunch we had in Venice with friends I taught English to last year
 Last week was yet another whirlwind as it always seems to be. We traveled to Modena for a mission conference that was held by Elder Johnson of the Seventy. He had me and Anziano Bruggeman get up and share some of the miracles we have seen in Mestre, specifically about meeting this man named Giovanni. The next day we drove to Verona, then Milano for another conference with Elder Johnson.

 Lots of traveling and conferences but so many great things I was able to take away and learn.

2nd conference in Milano
Half of mission conference
English class Christmas party

 Giovanni, whom we had met a few weeks ago, finally met with us last Wednesday night. He brought the Book of Mormon we had given to him, of which he had read 501 pages in just 2 weeks. As we told him our experiences of why we know it is a real, true book, he told us he felt the same way. He hugged us both at the end and thanked us for being testimonies of the Book of Mormon. Experiences like this, in my mission, have only come a few times, so I'm super grateful!

Venice today!
 Last night we had dinner at Fratello Massimiliano Franni's house. He is a professional pianist and the BYU music professor. It was one of the coolest experiences for me to meet with someone, whose music I actually have heard before! We are having Christmas dinner at his house so we are looking forward to that.

 I hope everyone enjoys this Christmas Sunday. Don't forget to take some time to sit back and read about our Savior Jesus Christ. He gave us a gift that exceeds any gift money or time could buy. He gave Himself for us, and hundreds of doors open for us if we love Him, and Follow Him. I've been able to learn and understand the power that comes from knowing that He lives, and Knowing that His church has been restored. This knowledge creates for us, the most secure foundation that could support anyone in any life crisis. I love you all, and I especially love my Savior Jesus Christ. Merry Christmas!


Anziano Hogan

My trainer and me from last year!
Anziano Josh Thomson
MOSTRA!  In Mestre downtown
The ward gave us food for Christmas!
Our ward loves us!!
Making Gnocchi
Making Gnocchi with our ward mission leader

Friday, December 16, 2016

Christmas is Close!

Buone Feste cari miei!
Zone Conference

I can't even tell you all how happy I am for this time of year. Last year's Christmas was awesome but this year is even more meaningful for me. Being in the mission for as long as I have has everything to do with it. I've been able to grow and learn so much about our Savior Jesus Christ in my time here in Italy. 

As usual, this week was a whirlwind of craziness. We had the Christmas Zone Conference last Thursday which went so well! Right after, we drove to Vicenza to do an exchange. We got to Christmas carol to the Anziani(Elderly) here in Mestre which was a blast! They all thought it was funny that the Anziani (us) were singing to the actual Anziani. It was so nice to share the spirit of Christmas with some of Venice's oldest seniors. 
We were so busy this week, we didn't even think about pictures...sorry!
I cant't get over how great the #SiiUnaLuce ( #SharetheLight ) Video is!! We walk the streets for hours each week trying to share this message with the people here. We have received so much positive feedback from it. I really like how it relates to all races, religions, and people, because this message isn't just for a select people, its for the WORLD. As far as I know, Italian is one of the only languages that translates (Share the Light) to (BE the Light). I thought that was so cool and I honestly like that more. Our actions towards others are usually what sparks the desire in a persons heart to be a Light as well. In 3 Nephi 12:16 it reads "Let your light so shine before this people, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven". Show someone you love them by giving your time, efforts, and heart, or in other words, Be like the Savior. Have a great week, and don't forget why we celebrate!
Love all of you!!! 
-Anziano Willy Hogan 

Address for Christmas cards! 

Anziano Hogan
Via Cappuccina 19/F, 
30172 Mestre, 

Sunday, December 11, 2016


Hey Everyone!
Mestre Centro.  It may be smaller than all my other cities but it still is awesome!  I will get some Venice Christmas pictures to y'all soon!

 It has been such a CRAZY week here. With our new assignment here in Venezia-Mestre, Anziano Bruggeman and I are busier than at any point in our missions. For example, we spent 12 hours on trains these last 2 days and next week we travel to the far parts of the mission for a conference and a meeting. Tomorrow is our big Christmas Zone Conference and I'm super pumped for it! Busy as ever but I love it!
Pranzo (lunch) with Marco and his family minus one son.
# awkward missionary poses.  This is our friend Erica, who is moving back to England
Roland...the nicest member ever!
 I'm so happy it is finally December because people are now in that mindset of Christmas. Basically every free evening we have, we go downtown with a big speaker and show the #SiiUnaLuce(Be a light) Video, which always gets at lest a few people to stop. Something really amazing came out of showing the video. One night, a woman stopped and watched the video. Afterwards she asked us to come and share more of our message with her family. Well, we called her and she wasn't kidding so we visited her home last Saturday and taught her and 4 other kids. I honesty cant remember the last time something as awesome as this happened in my mission. They were pretty firm in their beliefs but they still listened to us so intently and asked tons of questions. We will see what happens.
Amazing burgers
 Last week we met with Marco, the Venetian chef, who is so eager to learn more and be baptized either by the end of this month or the beginning of the next. He is so awesome! He made us his special Carbonara which we agreed was the best Carbonara we have ever tasted. He has the most amazing family of a wife, 2 little boys and a crazy little dog.

A tree in Centro (Centro is downtown)
I hope you are all enjoying the holidays. Don't forget the reason why we celebrate, and WHO we are celebrating. Share with as many people as you can the #ShareTheLight video! We can make this world a better place, one act at a time. Love you all.

-Anziano Hogan

A church in Bergamo




Friday, December 2, 2016

Another week in Paradise...

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! It would be nice if Thanksgiving was every month, or even week because its nice having a day where we express our gratitude. I have definitely seen that I am happier when I list the things I am grateful for.

Last Thursday we ate at the home of Anziano and Sorella Clark. They are the senior couple of our Zone, and they made one of the best thanksgiving meals I think I have ever had!!

Anziano Bruggeman and I are really enjoying Mestre. This city is awesome! Its different from Bologna but the work is growing. We have a few great people we are teaching who have a great desire to be baptized.

San Marco in Venice

 It is getting pretty cold up here, but it doesn't stop us from standing outside at night trying to share with everyone #SiiunaLUCE (BE a Light) which is the new Christmas video. I could say its my favorite video that the church has made for the Holidays. Last Saturday night, a man named Giovanni loved our message so much he told us to come over to his house in Venice and talk more about the Book of Mormon. And every once in a while someone will stop and watch the video, and they always seem to love it.

Our Bigliettini (pass along cards) for Christmas!

This weekend we had an exchange with the President's assistants who came here to Venice. Both of them were the last ones who served in this city so they showed us around and really helped out. They were also able to help us out with the "Meet the Mormons" showing we had on Friday night. 25 non members came and it was a HUGE success!!

 My letters this time of year will sound a lot like last years because I LOVE Christmas time as a missionary. Its one of two times of the year the majority of people are somewhat focused on Jesus Christ. I am sad this is my last Christmas as a missionary, but that just makes me want to go all out and have that #Yolo attitude and talk to everyone.
I hope all of you at home remember that Christ shouldn't be celebrated just on the 25th of December but always, especially during these next few weeks. I love you all and miss you. Keep being great and don't forget who you are!

Anziano Hogan