Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Baptism and Transfer

Ciao cari!

 Mi mancate! Sono proprio felice qua.

This week Marco was baptized!!! His wife and two kids were there and the room was completely packed. It was definitely one of the most rewarding moments of my entire mission. His wife is a member from Ecuador and she was the one who originally introduced him to the church. In one of the very first lessons we had, Marco promised his wife that they would get married in the temple.

 I'm eternally grateful for the opportunity to be a part of Marcos life and baptism!

 This last Saturday I got a new assignment from President Allen to be the new mission Clerk. I will be companions with Anziano Simmons (who is from the Laguna Niguel stake!!!) and together we are basically the nerds who deal with the mission cars, charts, finances etc. We work most of the day in the office while still working with the ward of Lodi, Milano. I hear they are a killer ward with awesome families. Its definitely a huge change to my normal missionary life but I really look forward to it.

 It is sad to be leaving this place!! I feel like whichever city I go to, I join a new family and make friends that I'll never forget. I'll miss it but I have a super good excuse now to come back and visit. I
sure learned a lot here and I had a great time with Anziano Bruggeman. In this city I've learned a lot about the importance of love. It is the most powerful tool to making this world a better place and helping others become happier. I really love you all and I'm enjoying everything I doing here.

 In the office our pdays are usually Saturdays but sometimes Wednesday.
My new address is:
Via Antonio Gramsci 13/2
20090 Opera MI


Selfie on the tram!

I drew a snow cat!


January 18, 2017

Another week in such a great part of the world. This week it snowed which was super cool! also freezing cold. I've gotten like a hundred comments from people who laugh at how I'm from California and I'm here in the cold. It's honestly so great here despite the challenges. Very often we are lead to certain places and people at just the right moments. We are always able to find tender mercies, and that is because the work we are doing is true.

 On Thursday we traveled to Pordenone to do an exchange and help them out a bit. The next day we did another exchange with the elders from Vicenza which was a blast because that's when it dumped Snow!

 In Italy there are huge sales going on right now, so Anziano Bruggeman and I used that as an excuse to buy new Italian suits. They look great by the way. We will wear them tomorrow for our zone conference and take some pictures don't worry!

 I think it's so awesome how much I learn out here. I am so grateful I have chosen to serve a mission. Unfortunately some people think that missions make us miss out on life and waste time, but it's
sort of the opposite. I've done more, seen more, and learned more than I ever would have if I were to have stayed home. I'm grateful for every moment of it. This weekend, Marco is getting baptized! He has the best little family in the world. Him and his wife want to get married in the temple next year which makes me so insanely happy. I love you all.

Anziano Hogan

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Great Week(s)

Ciao Family and Friends!

Things continue to go pretty well for us here and we honestly are seeing lots of cool blessings. Thankfully this week was pretty mellow because we didn't have to travel for trainings or for other
miscellaneous things. We were able to focus so much more on our work, and lots of good came out of it.

Back of the boat bus

 We are trying to make this city turn into something big again. Years ago the missionary work was basically flourishing and with time and whatever the reasons may have been, its been a bit tough. We have been wanting to get a bigger English class so we ordered 5000 English class flyers that the mission office helped us design, and in just 5 days we have passed out about 700. I heard that the last time missionaries did this big of an English Class invitavate, the class size quadrupled. I'm sure it will help our missionary work out a ton so I guess we will see! Its all about being creative and doing work.
Ponte Rialto Venice

 Last Friday a cool thing happened after we had passed out a ton of flyers. We were about to head home to make calls but we felt like we should hop on a tram instead. Because of that we met two people who wanted to meet with us again. One of them is from Nigeria, and he said that he and his family would love to come to church. Super cool!

Venice sun set

 So, I wanted to share something I had reflected on a lot this week. We always teach others to be like Christ who was perfect right? Well how can we be perfect if we are far from it, being imperfect beings. Well the definition of perfect isn't just "without flaw", it is also "complete". What it really comes down to, as far as striving to be perfect, is we have to always ask ourselves if what we are doing is helping us feel complete as a person. I've definitely seen that when I am doing something wrong, I feel like a part of me is missing. So the more perfect we are striving to be, the more whole or complete we should feel. This gospel is meant for us to become happier and more successful. I am so insanely grateful for being a tool in this work.

It is real and it is true. Have a super awesome week!

Venice on a boat


This marks my first email of 2017 woahhh. Seriously an awesome week we had here, just like most weeks. The days leading up to New Years were a bit slow because people must have been preparing for the big celebration. However, we still did work! On New Year's Eve we did a display in Mestre downtown which got us a couple numbers.


 As for our celebration, Anziano Bruggeman and I went to our ward New Years party and then got home around nine. We played some games and then watched the fireworks and crazy people lighting off M80s in the street. At 12am we hear Katy Perry "Roar" blasting in Mestre downtown haha.

 On Monday we drove to Verona, then to Milano for a leadership conference which was super sweet. We just discussed how we could improve the mission. On Tuesday we did 2 conferences for the Zone; one in Mestre and the other in Pordenone. All went well and everybody seemed to love it.
Today we walked around Venice and then took a boat to Murano, which is famous for its glass. I found a few cats there so I think we will be going back soon haha.

Mission Counsil

 In our conferences, we have been talking about how we can become better and more effective missionaries. Our mission president always says that when we do things with our hearts, we will always find success. There is a secret to success in this life, and luckily I am able to discover what that is while serving here in Italy. Love is the key, and when we put it towards the things we do and the people we serve, so much will come out of it. Jesus Christ was the perfect example of this love. I love you all and I seriously love being a missionary up here in Northern Italy. I wouldn't trade it for
anything. Have the best first week of this year!

I found a cat on the island of Murano!!  It's name is Mimi
The cat was so chubby!!!

 Love, Anziano Willy Hogan

Ps. If you are nice enough to send me a package, send it to my mission
home address. Letters are totally fine to be sent to the city I am
currently serving in. Love you ALL!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Buon Anno!!

Ciao a Tutti!!

Hey Everyone!! It was so awesome to talk to some of my family on Christmas!

Venice at night

 This Christmas was the best one I have ever had!  We actually did finding on Christmas because we had an open morning after the one hour of church. We found two new people on the bus to Venice and on the way back as well. Later in the day we went to Fratello Max Frani's house to Skype the family and eat the BEST dinner ever. He taught us how to make a dessert that goes back 300 years ago. We also watched Hercules for Christmas!

Christmas Eve Diner!

 Transfers came this week and I'm staying with Anziano Bruggeman for another 6 weeks in Mestre-Venice! Super glad about that! We are working so hard together and we have a baptism coming up in January for Marco.

Last week we also did a couple exchanges with missionaries from Padova and Vicenza which was super great. After knocking on what seemed like 100 doors, a University student let us in and we shared the Christmas message! They want us to come back next week! Cool miracles have been happening around Christmas time! People's hearts really do open up a little bit during this time of year.

I say this Christmas was the best one I've ever had because I have basically been celebrating Christmas for the last year and a half, so when Christmas came I was so stoked!! It's never been so clear to me, the significance of the birth of Jesus Christ. We now have New Years too!! I hope everyone makes good goals, ones that you can actually keep. I'm so grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ. I know Christmas is over but we can still be lights and examples of Him!

Buon Natale e Buon Capo D'Anno!

 Love you guys!!!
Making the 300 year old recipe of Calcionetti
The district!