The Brubaker Family

The Brubaker Family

President Brubaker and I are excited to be here as the Mission President and companion of the Belgium Brussels Netherlands Mission! We love your sons and daughters, and feel to thank you for the wonderful missionaries you have raised! This is a very unique mission. Our mission includes two countries, and five languages, not including many dialects spoken in the Netherlands. The missionaries are teaching many people from all around the globe. With the help of the Spirit, the missionaries are finding those who have been prepared to receive the Gospel. This is truly the best mission in the world, and we are honored to be a part of it. We will try and take good care of your sons and daughters. We love them so much already!

We have 5 children and 11 wonderful grand children. We have so much fun together! We are grateful for the support they have given us as we prepared to leave for three years. Our home is in Salt Lake City, Utah. We have raised our family in the Millcreek Holladay area. We enjoy many activities together. We are happiest when we are hiking in Southern Utah, cross-country skiing into our rustic cabin in the Uintahs, enjoying a good game of Train or Settlers of Catan, or just being together and sharing a meal with each other. We love our family so much!!!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Blessings Come When You Least Expect Them

After interviews in Liège, President Brubaker and I were honored to stay and speak at a Ward Fireside. The theme for the fireside was on The Book of Mormon. We invited the members of the ward to read the Book of Mormon in 59 days, the same amount of time it took Joseph Smith to translate the book. I shared with them the challenge I had been given by Sister Teixera at our Mission President's training a few weeks before, and offered them the same challenge. I have a long ways to go with my French, but I think the members were happy that I gave my talk in French. We brought enough Book of Mormons for each person to have a new copy, and mark those verses that are the most impressive to them as they read the Book of Mormon.

Elder Shaunig needed a ride home to Mons. He came with a member to provide a beautiful musical number at the fireside. He wasn't able to get a ride back to Mons. He was so appreciative!. We enjoyed his company for an hour. He had lots of questions for us. After we got him safely home, we got a call from Nikki Barkume, who was President Brubaker's Dutch teacher at the MTC! They were in Brussels starting a week-long trip to their mission. She and one of her former missionary companions had missed their connection to Den Haag, in Holland, due to a late train from Frankfurt. So they needed a place to spend the night. We went to pick up these tired travelers on our way home. They spent the night at the mission home, and then we took them to church to Brussels the next morning. It all worked out. It is a good thing we took Elder Shaunig home! We arrived at the train station just in time to pick them up and give them a good bed to sleep in.

It was so good to see Sister Barkume again! They were excited to go to church in Brussels the next morning. Sister Orton and Sister Barkume are both from Cedar City, Utah. They are best of friends! It was a wonderful reunion for them! Blessings come when you least expect them!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Oregon Trail in Liège, Belgium?

Elder Bybee and Elder Carpenter re-enacted the Oregon Trail while President Brubaker interviewed our missionaries in Liège, Belgium! At each station along the Oregon Trail they had the missionaries teach a gospel principle, and receive what they needed to make it a long their way on the trail. I was an indian along the trail who needed help understanding who Jesus Christ was. We learned alot, and had fun doing it!

Friday, August 28, 2009

A Memorable Senior Retreat to the Little Venice of Holland

We have the best Senior Missionaries! We met the senior couple serving in Holland for a little retreat. We all met inZwartwater for an evening of pleasant visiting and a wonderful meal together. We all wanted to put a stop on time!
The next morning we all drove to Giethorn, known as the "Little Venice of Holland". Giethoorn is called the Venice of the Netherlands for about 7.5 km of canals run through the little village. Some 50 little wooden bridges span the canals. It was founded around 1230 when fugitives coming from the Mediterranian regions settled there. They found a lot of horns of wild goats there that had probably died in the big flood of St Elisabeth in 1170, and therefore they called the settlement Geytenhorn (horn of goats), later it became Geythorn and now it's called Giethoorn. All traffic has to go over the water, and it is done in so-called "punters", they are 'whisper-boats' for they are driven by an electric motor, so they practically do not disturb the peace and quiet in this scenic little village. The canal is only about 1 meter deep and were digged out to transport the peat, the digging of this peat resulted in many ponts and undeep lakes, called 'Wieden'. Many houses have been built on islands and are only reachable over wooden bridges. Most houses have thatched roofs, the marshy areas provide a lot of reed. In former days only rich people had tiled roofs, for tiles were much more expensive than reed, now it's the other way round: having a thatched roof costs a lot more money than have it covered with tiles.

We had our very own "skipper" on board the canal trip. Elder Spek was a good sport to don his sailor's cap for a great photo.
Just look at the beautiful hydrangeas, and the picturesque homes. President Brubaker and I thought this would be a great place to have a senior couple reside. Everyone was in agreement!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A great Interview Day in Apeldorn

Zusters Hamblin, Erickson and Baxter modeling their 'African' attire.
We enjoyed a great 'African' meal prepared by a member of the Den Haag Ward. It was delicious!
We have missionaries that really know their scriptures! Zuster Spek and I enjoyed helping with this scripture chase activity.
The sisters are so creative with their learning activities. They drew a huge 'Candy Land' game board outside of the church, and had many gospel related questions for the missionaries.
The missionaries have many opportunities to teach investigators from around the globe. They embrace these precious children of our Father in Heaven with love and acceptance. They enjoy eating different ethnic foods, and learning many phrases so they can better communicate with new found friends in the Gospel.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

More Inspired Training

This was a great activity! On each card was a picture, and they took turns describing what was on the picture, not seeing it beforehand.
The second set of cards were more missionary related. It was good for the missionaries to develop more descriptive words, and to apply simple Gospel Principles into their contacting. Practice makes perfect!

After a full day of interviews, President Brubaker and I enjoyed a small town called Narden. It is a small village, and we just enjoyed walking the streets, and the Flemish architecture of this beautiful country. We went to a deli to eat, but they were just closing. They made a recommendation to us. It was a great restaurant, and we enjoyed the peaceful atmosphere! It was just what we needed. Scott was so tired from interviews, he fell asleep at the table.

"All the things
of the universe
are perfect miracles,
each as profound as any."
-Walt Whitman

A Great Week of Interviews

Interviews in Amsterdam
During the time that President Brubaker is interviewing each missionary, the Zone Leaders lead a morning of training with the missionaries in the district. I am so blessed because I am able to listen to their inspired training ideas. I learned all about patience, and not allowing my troubles and sadness break through the wall of patience. If I do then I am frustrated, angry and can't have the spirit with me. Elder Pratt explained this so well! We, as missionaries learn about being more patient everyday of our mission, and the things we are learning here will bless us for the rest of our lives.

As part of the training, missionaries participated in a fun activity to get to know each other better. Questions were asked about their companion, and as long as they knew the answer they could keep playing.We all learned more about each other! Everyone enjoyed this activity!
We have some champion ping pong players in the bunch!
Zuster Miller and Zuster Fowler make me feel so wlecome whenever we come to Amsterdam. We enjoy talking about "girl" things, and just being together is the highlight of my day.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Nini is The Newest Member of the Brussels 1st Ward

This was a beautiful day for Nini and all of us who were in attendance at her baptism. Nini invited Elder Perez to baptize her. He felt so honored to be able to baptize her
Sister Rideout and Sister Orton found Nini during one of their consecrated hours. Sister Kohler enjoyed teaching Nini when Sister Orton was transferred. Nini has a beautiful family! Her daughter is learning about the Gospel also.
Sister Rideout and Sister Orton will always have a special place in their hearts for sweet Nini.
Nini is all aglow after her baptism!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Tour of the Modern City of Rotterdam

After the conference, President De Younge, the Stake President over the Rotterdam Stake took us on a tour of the city. During World War II Rotterdam was completely destroyed. We were able to get a panoramic view.
We are standing in front of the St. Antonius Church dating back to 1415.
There is a Pilgrim's Father Memorial, in remembrance of the Pilgrim Fathers who left
Delfshaven in 1620 to sail to their new homeland of America.
left to right: Elder Chris Cliviche and his darling wife Marianna ( area authority for our mission), President Brubaker and I, Wendy and Elder Russell M. Nelson, and President DeYounge
We love the Flemish architecture of the Netherlands. There are 8,000 canals in Holland. We have fallen in love with this beautiful country!
Need I say more! Sister Nelson and I were amused by this sign!
Our new area president, Elder Kopischke and Elder Russell M. Nelson

Elder Russell M. Nelson Visits Our Mission

On August 13th, we had the rare opportunity to have Elder Russell M. Nelson and his wife, Wendy, come and speak to our missionaries. We have been looking forward to this day for weeks!

I will never forget walking into the chapel, and having our entire mission together! Elder Nelsen wanted to shake hands with each one of our missionaries, before we started the conference. He and his wife stood right in front of the pulpit. We were on the stand, so we could see the faces of our missionaries as they shook hands with Elder Nelson. I wish I could have recorded it! President Brubaker conducted the meeting. He was cute as he said to the missionaries that he didn’t have to worry about his phone ringing, because they were all accounted for, and were all in one place. I felt so much gratitude for these missionaries. It was such a precious experience for me. Sister Bennett had worked on a musical number with the elders and sisters in Holland. They sang Sisters in Zion and Armies of Helaman. It was so appropriate, and beautiful! Then I had the privilege of speaking to our missionaries. I am getting used to finding out just a few minutes before, and then having to speak.

Elder Nelson was so personal with our missionaries. He talked to them about “What Desirest thou?” He spoke about the most important hours of the day are from 6:30- 10:30 am. This is the time to really let the Lord see what the desires of our hearts are. He taught many profound lessons to our missionaries. We all took pages of notes. I am so grateful that our missionaries and we had this special experience.

Departing Missionaries Too Soon

We spent a special evening with Elder Stock, Elder Bailey, and Elder Patrick
in the mission home. We enjoyed dinner together, and testimonies of our departing missionaries.

Elder DeMaas played "A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief " on his bagpipes.
No one prepared us for this part of our mission. We hated to see these fine, devoted missionaries leave our mission.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Discovering the Beautiful Land of Belgium France and the Netherlands

The French Countryside-on the way to Interviews in Lille, France
Kinder Dijk in Holland, near Rotterdam

A castle just outside of Brussels, Belgium
Tournai on the Belgium French border

The Young Adult Outreach Center In Brussels is a Smashing Success

The Young Adult Outreach Center in Brussels, Belgium is exactly what Elder L. Tom Perry wants to see happen all over the church. It is an inspired program, and we are seeing the blessings of this program here in our mission.

Elder and Soeur Phair are the senior couple in charge of the Outreach Center in Brussels, Belgium. They know the secrets behind a successful Center. The Young Adults love coming to the Center 2-3 times a week for uplifiting, healthy, entertainment and spiritual instruction. The Phairs make sure that there is always good food to eat!
A great activity of dodge ball with balloons!
It is evident of the smiles, that everyone is having a good time!

Saturday, August 08, 2009

We Have Family in the Netherlands!

We finally made it to Gronigen; the northernmost part of our mission. My niece, Sarah Busken Fridsma and her husband Hilbert Fridsma, with their adorable two children, Gabriel and Lorenzo live in Gronigen! After the Young Adult Conference, we drove to Gronigen and spent Saturday evening and Sunday with them. We were so happy to be with family! They welcomed us with open arms!

Gabriel and Lorenzo are willing to be our new adopted grand children while we are on our mission!
Oh, if I could only speak Dutch like Gabriel!

I just wanted to package Lorenzo up, and take him home with me!

We felt so welcomed by the members in the Gronigen Ward. Veere, a dear friend to Sarah, has an eternal smile,
and gave me much encouragement as I spoke in Sacrament Meeting.
We feel so blessed to have the Fridsma family in our mission. The missionaries love the Fridsma family. Each week they share a meal with our missionaries in Gronigen. Our Dutch missionaries love being transferred to Gronigen. There is a special feeling among the members here. The Fridsma family are helping move the work forward in this part of our mission.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Young Adult Conference in Den Boss, Holland

Can you imagine the work that must go into planning a week long Conference for 130 Young Adults?
Elder and Sister Servoss, our senior couple from Bountiful, Utah spent the week at the Conference, willing to help the camp run smoothly. The Servoss couple are dedicated missionaries, and are a blessing to our mission.
President Brubaker and I spent the morning teaching a series of workshops to these energetic, strong young adults. We felt their desire to be good examples to their less active and investigating friends and families of the church. We enjoyed our short time with them, and wished we could stay for the rest of the conference!

Diederik welcomed us to the camp. He is the Young Adult Supervisor for the camp. The camp was in good hands with Diederik and his committee!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Au Revoir Les Missionaires

With the help of our assistants, we were able to successfully get all of our departing missionaries to the airport on time, luggage and all!
There was a joyful reunion with the parents of Elder Carey and Elder Drake.

We will miss you Elder Shumway!