Sunday, February 26, 2017


Hey Family and friends!


The Barbone Family
 It seems like time here in Lodi and the office moves quicker than at any other point of my life. Maybe that's just what happens when you get older in the mission, or maybe just life in general haha. Really though it was another awesome week here, as usual. Anziano Simmons and I continuing to help keep the mission afloat buying tickets, solving problems, making orders etc. It really is a team effort working with the President, Senior couples, and all other missionaries, we just play our part to help this work move forward.

 Anziano Simmons and I, both being from Orange County, decided to buy some California-like Avocados! We ate them and we celebrated the fact that we are companions and from the same place. We did some good service this week helping members and missionaries move furniture. A family from England moved into the apartment across from us and we helped them move in. We've just been constantly trying to do service for them and they have really become good friend of ours.

A normal thing to find in Milano

 Last Sunday was pretty special because I gave a talk on the topic of the simplicity of the Gospel. It went really well! This week I was also able to finish the Book of Mormon again. I completely agree with what Joseph Smith said in the introduction that it is the "keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.” I have learned many things from my mission, but one of the things I am most grateful for is learning for myself the meaning of what Joseph Smith said. My goal is to help others discover the same thing. I really love you all!

Have an awesome week.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Festive Week!

Hey everyone!

Anziano Thomson...my future roommate at BYU

 It was a great week full of lots of hard work and festivities. I want to thank everyone who wished me a happy birthday! This birthday was as good as a birthday could get on a mission. It started off with a super solid church meeting with some of my favorite members. When we walked into the church, this amazing member named Lilly came right up to me and said "Anziano Hogan aguri e buon compleanno!!" That made my year. She invited us over for a birthday lunch and we ate sooo much good Peruvian food. At the end, she gave me a piece of banana cake that was literally bigger than my face.

They put balloons on my desk!

The Diaz family who game me a huge lunch and I love them because they have an awesome cat!
 We had an awesome lesson later that day with a super great Filipino family we found doing passbys the other week. They all want to come back to church and the non member husband wants to start taking the lessons!  Later that night, the whole office threw me a little birthday party. Sorella Hoopes made me her special banana cream pie, which made me almost cry it was so good. It was my third cake of the day but it was so worth it.

Sorella Hoopes

As a birthday present, I got a pillow that had cats all over it, thanks to my awesome companion Anziano Simmons and the help of President's wife.


 On Valentine's Day, the Hoopes senior couple made biscuits and gravy and we had an office breakfast with President and his wife!

Anziano Minnoch and me!

Anziano Simmons - my great companion at the Duomo!

 I have been reflecting a ton this week on the talk given by Elder Uchtdorf "It works Wonderfully". The simple truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ sometimes can be overlooked as we focus too much on the complicated things that don't matter as much. As Elder Uchtdorf said in his talk "This beautiful gospel is so simple a child can grasp it, yet so profound and complex that it will take a lifetime--even an eternity--of study and discovery to fully understand it." We need to focus on what matters most and accept that we won't come to know everything in this life.
I know this is Gospel is true, and it sure does changes lives.


I love you all. Have the best week.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Busier than Ever!

Ciao everyone!
An arancino!  My favorite Italian Food!
Pday Calcio!

 I know every single week I say it was busier than ever but this week topped all of those weeks off. Apart from our duties here in the office, we take care of the arriving new missionaries and the
departing old missionaries all within 3 days! It was so awesome greeting the new incoming fresh missionaries and seeing their excitement to serve in Italy for the next 2 years! It was also a cool
experience to compare the new missionaries who have 2 years ahead of them and the missionaries who have served for 2 years. The sisters from my MTC district were part of the going home group so that was a sad goodbye. We definitely didn't get a ton of sleep the last few days but it was such a blast. Anziano Simmons and I love the office and all its craziness. We also still cant get over the fact that we are companions and we were friends before the mission!!!

Ruiz diaz family
The Rodriguez Family...so awesome!

We had some great lessons this week and some awesome tender mercies happen. While we were at the airport, a guy came up to me and the President's wife, telling us that he printed one of the first hymn books in Italian 30 some years ago and he wants to meet with missionaries!

A family in our ward pranks every missionary that leaves the city and they accidentally got flower in the car  hahahaha...

We have some great people we are working with who should be getting baptized in a couple weeks. The office is a busy place but it's still missionary work and I love helping all the missionaries in the mission. When we go outside to do things I'm more driven to talk to more people because I love that kind of missionary work. I know that this church is true without a doubt and I love seeing it change lives! It's seriously the best, every time I read the Book of Mormon I feel SO much better. That's because the Book is true.

I love what I'm doing out here, I love where I live, I love the people. Have the best week and Happy Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Transfers and Awesomeness

Hello everyone!
My new zone

It was a great week here in the office getting ready for the upcoming transfers. It is so cool how close we get to work with President Allen. I never thought I would be able to work with someone so spiritual and warm hearted as he is. We went bowling with him and everyone else in the office which was super fun.

It seems like with President's wife and the office senior couple always around, you're always able to find fresh muffins or cookies in the kitchen haha.

It is a blast with Anziano Simmons and Anderson.  Anziano Anderson has been doing a great job training me on everything I manage for the mission. It really is different from normal missionary life but we are still doing missionary work, just a different kind of missionary work.

The office is 30 minutes away from our assigned city which is a change for me but our Heavenly Father still blesses us with people to meet and people to find. Sunday is the full day we get to work there! 

Pday lunch at the president's house

On Sunday, a member in our ward who is from Peru, fed us lunch and then after, walked around the city with us to visit all the people she gave copies of the Book of Mormon to. Then we walked into an old folks home and she had us greet almost every single disabled senior there. Everyone was smiling and some were even crying at the site of 3 young missionaries smiling and greeting everyone. I have never met someone so Christlike than this member here in Lodi. We also had an. We are teaching a few awesome people from Nigeria who love the gospel and should be getting baptized soon. I really love this country and the people here. I know without a doubt that this church is true, I'm so
stoked to be out here! 

Have the best week!

Love you all!
-Anziano Hogan
The Monza Villa

Google glasses virtual tour of the Villa