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!!!

Monday, November 30, 2009

My Angel Sister Missionaries Came to the Rescue

Soeur Rideout and Soeur Kohler came to my rescue! They willingly helped me prepare for Zone Conference. They are both budding artists as they drew little Christmas designs on the stickers for the missionary bags! I was so appreciative of their service, and we enjoyed spending a few hours together, reminiscing and sharing Christmas traditions. It was so nice of them to spend part of their P-Day helping me!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Our Last Day of Interviews in Dordrecht

We had a nice day in Dordrecht today for interviews. The Rotterdam Chapel is being remodeled so we met here instead. It is in a house converted into a church. At lunch the Langevelds made a big pot of soup for us all! The missionaries presented us with a sweet Christmas gift. In Holland it is a fun custom to give the first letter of your name in chocolate! They were beautiful and Scott received a “P” for President and I received “Z” for Zuster Brubaker. Sweet Zuster Driggs and Zuster Miller had been the initiators. Zuster Miller sang us a song that she had written.

The Langevelds are over the Center for Young Adults in Dordrecht, and the missionaries
love having them in their Zone.

The day passed quickly, and soon the missionaries were off to their afternoon appointments.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Day Spent in Leiden, Holland

On Thanksgiving day we spent the day with Elder Rasmussen and Elder Duran in Leiden. We attended a non-denominational service commemorating the Pilgrims who left Leiden for religious freedom to come to America on the Mayflower.

The Pilgrims were English Separatists
. In the first years of the 17th century, small numbers of English Puritans broke away from the Church of England because they felt that it had not completed the work of the Reformation. They committed themselves to a life based on the Bible. Most of these Separatists were farmers, poorly educated and without social or political standing. One of the Separatist congregations was led by William Brewster and the Rev. Richard Clifton in the village of Scrooby in Nottinghamshire. The Scrooby group emigrated to Amsterdam in 1608 to escape harassment and religious persecution. The next year they moved to
Leiden, in Holland where, enjoying full religious freedom, they remained for almost 12 years.

In 1617, discouraged by economic difficulties, the pervasive Dutch influence on their children, and their inability to secure civil autonomy, the congregation voted to emigrate to America. Through the Brewster family's friendship with Sir Edwin Sandys, treasurer of the London Company, the congregation secured two patents authorizing them to settle in the northern part of the company's jurisdiction. Unable to finance the costs of the emigration with their own meager resources, they negotiated a financial agreement with Thomas Weston, a prominent London iron merchant. Fewer than half of the group's members elected to leave
Leiden. A small ship, the Speedwell, carried them to Southampton, England, where they were to join another group of Separatists and pick up a second ship. After some delays and disputes, the voyagers regrouped at Plymouth aboard the 180-ton Mayflower. It began its historic voyage on Sept. 16, 1620, with about 102 passengers--fewer than half of them from Leiden.
The church in Leiden where the Separatists were able to worship for 12 years.
A stone plaque commemorating the Pilgrims who left from Leiden in 1617.
President Brubaker, Elder Rasmussen and Elder Duran, who are serving in Leiden.
This was the map of Leiden in the 1600's.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Elder Bastiaens Arrives in our Mission

Elder Bastiaens is official! He comes from Brussels, Belgium, and has had lots of practice doing missionary work before his mission. Elder Ruesch and Elder Villain were so excited to have Elder Bastiaens come to the Mission Office while they were doing their legality. They are in the Brussels 2nd Ward and had many missionary moments with him. Elder Bastiaens had the great fortune of seeing them minutes before asking us when would be the next time he would see them. He will be a great addition to our mission and will be serving on the Dutch speaking part of our mission.

Friday, November 20, 2009

A Thanksgiving Feast Shared With our Senior Couples

A week before Thanksgiving we had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner together with our senior couples in our mission. We have nine amazing senior couples. I have decided that senior missionaries are a very unique and precious group of people. They are willing to be a little daring and adventurous to give up the comforts of home, and leave their families behind and come to serve wherever they are called. They have super strong testimonies. They are just marvelous people through and through! I love each of our couples so much. We had so much food; I think we could’ve fed another 20 people. I just felt so incredibly blessed as Scott and I sat at the head of the table and looked over the amazing blessings of each couple and the gift they are to this mission.
I had lots of experienced kitchen help!
With all leaves in the table, we all fit very comfortably at the dining room table.
I had lots of help with the meal! Each sister volunteered to bring something! We just needed 20 fainting couches after the meal to take a long nap!
Left to right: Soeur Arhets, Soeur Phair, Zuster Hofman, Zuster Pancratz, Zuster Langeveld, Zuster Dabel, Zuster Spek, Zuster Salden, Soeur Brown, and Soeur Brubaker
Left to right: Elder Salden (kneeling), President Brubaker, Elder Hofman, Elder Langeveld, Elder Pancratz, Elder Dabel, Elder Spek, Elder Phair, Elder Arhets, and Elder Brown.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

When We're Helping We're Happy!

We drove to Charleroi for a day of interviews wih our Charleroi district missionaries. The drive was spectacular! The colors of the leaves were magnificent! We have a great group of missionaries in this district! Elder Reynolds and Elder Dewey did another good training! Sister Hulet and Sister Bagwell provided the lunch for everyone. The elders were so pleased! Their stomachs were very full and they were so happy! This district seems to really get along well with each other. Elder Perez and Elder Rutman did most of the dishes and were dancing to Elder Clawson playing the piano. He was playing chopsticks! It was so great to see them so happy and having fun together! We had a good day in Charleroi!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Blenders Arrive

President Brubaker and I are encouraging the missionaries to eat HEALTHY! They were excited to receive a new blender for their apartments! Now they can make smoothies to their hearts content. The Arras missionaries went home anxious to try them out!
Thanks to the Saldens for doing the research and buying all the blenders for our mission. Our mission is blessed with 9 senior couples throughout our mission. The missionaries feel extra blessed if they have a senior couple in their district. They get very spoiled and pampered!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Missionaries Love Mail!!!

The missionaries get so excited to receive mail from home! When we arrive for interviews, it is the first thing they want to know! Where is the mail? Is there anything for me? Sister Hulet is so sweet to share her mail with Elder Benedetti. It just so happened that I had a package for him from a former companion!
Elder Robinson is a very happy and content missionary!

Interviews in Lille & Arras, France

We are always excited to go to Lille, France for interviews. We get so excited as we are able to spend some time in France with our missionaries. The missionaries are so fortunate to have the Arhets in their zone. They are serving in Mouscron, Belgium and are in charge of the Center for Young Adults. Elder Arhets was born in France, and Sister Arhets was born in China. They bring diversified experiences to the mission, and our missionaries really look up to them for counsel and advice. Sister Arhets is always preparing meals for the Jeunes Adultes and the missionaries!
Elder Bertrand surprised us all with a full Mexican lunch in Arras, France! It was such a treat and the missionaries were so happy! It feels so good for us to eat together. I think it brings great unity among us as we sit and chat together. I know the missionaries love having a meal provided for them. Elder Carpenter and Elder Cabrera were very inspiring today as they taught the missionaries to discover the meaning of really loving those we teach and those we live with-our companions. They had prepared a sheet of paper with each of the names of the missionaries. They sat in a big circle and passed the papers around the circle and invited each missionary to write something nice about that missionary. After everyone had written something on the paper it was full of compliments! I think missionaries went away feeling a little better about themselves! I know I did! We really have great missionaries.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Sinterklass Arrives in Holland

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas over here in Europe!
We are learning that in Holland the big event for children is the 6th of December. Saint Nicholas day.
No one really seems to remember much about the fellow's early days, except that he was kind to children. I think they don't want to frighten children with the tepid story about kids in a pot.
It seems that he shows up and puts goodies in a wooden shoe left out for that purpose by the kiddies. No reindeer here in Holland, just a magic white horse which flies from rooftop to rooftop. The Children remember the horse and leave a carrot out to give him strength to finish the long night. Once on the roof Santa... er... Sinter and his trusty Dutch helper "little black Pete" go down the chimney. Pete used to be a servant (slave) but nowadays he's just a helper who got black going down the chimneys, and he seems to have multiplied faster than elves ever could. This is a non-NCAAP approved event. These "Zwarte Piets" are gymnastic because they have to go up and down chimneys. Oh, I almost forgot, instead of leaving coal for bad kids, Pete carries a switch of reeds and a sack to put them in and then takes them to Spain to work in the coal mines! Over the years he's softened into a clownlike, friendly present giver.
So we call Santa "Sinter" in Dutch. In place of reindeer he has a white horse to bring him to Holland, instead of stockings we have wooden shoes, instead of elves we have little black Petes and we leave carrots out instead of milk and cookies. And all this happens on the night of the 5th instead of the 24th December. (I always thought that doing the whole world in one night would be difficult.)

Since Holland has water everywhere, Sinterklaas usually arrives by boat and then hops on a horse to do a tour of town in the middle of November in order to remind kids to be good. Special foods seem important to the Sinterklaas festivities. Ginger-cinnamon-clove cookies called spekuloos are pervasive. Some look like Sinter himself! Little round ones called peppernotten are almost used like confetti. The town where we saw Sinter yesterday is Zwolle in Holland. Marzipan is high on the list in Zwolle at Christmas time. They seriously go all out making all kinds of pigs out of Marzipan. Nutty cakes, cookies and pies abound, and don't forget the chocolate Sinters (and Petes).

We had a fun Saturday P-day watching the happenings after a Friday night meeting with the Stake President in Zwolle. We feel partly "naturalized" now and will always have a bit of Netherlandish tradition in our Christmases I'm sure.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Centers for Young Adults are a Huge Success

The Outreach Center for Young Single Adults is the result of a powerful revelation that Elder L. Tom Perry had the night after President Gordon B. Hinckley called him to be over the Central Europe Area. Elder Perry had a dream from which he awoke and said that he had received one of the most powerful revelations of his life. It was made known to him that the success of missionary work in Central Europe and the future strength of The Church here would come from the Young Single Adult aged members." ( Quoted from Outreach Presentation, MTC, Provo, Utah)

Because of this revelation Outreach Centers for YSA are being established throughout Europe. The Center is a place that the young single adults can come to as a refuge from the world. At the center they can meet and strengthen one another, bring friends, both members and non-members to play games, listen to good music, read, work on a computer, talk and eat! The Center is also the place that the full time missionaries will teach investigators that are of that same age in the presence of the members who are their peers who can become their friends from the beginning of the conversion process.

These centers have already helped to make Elder Perry's vision a reality in such places such as Germany, Norway, and Sweden, and we can witness first hand his vision taking place in Holland, Belgium, and France.
After interviews, President Brubaker and I had the opportunity to go with Elder Dalpias and Elder LeFevre to teach two young adults in the Hague. Hendricka and Andrian have been attending "Yo Fo"with Nathan and Paris, who are members. The lesson was on the Priesthood, and the missionaries taught an inspirational lesson. President Brubaker shared how the Priesthood had blessed his life. I was able to share how having the Priesthood in our home had personally blessed the lives of our children. We felt so gratified to be able to have this experience. Andrian and Hendricka had many questions and we enjoyed their vitality for life and their desire to learn more about the Gospel.

We have six Centers for Young Adults in our mission, and the number is growing!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Zuster Vels, Zuster Hamblin, and Zuster Erickson are ready to conquer the world together! They are a dynamic trio. Zuster Vels is new to our mission but not to Holland! She was born and raised in the Northern part of Holland. She is learning English from her two companions, and in turn they have a marvelous Dutch tutor for free!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Antwerp Stake Conference

This weekend we were invited to participate in the Antwerp Stake Conference. Elder Roche , a member of the 1st quorum of the Seventy came as the visiting General Authority for their Stake Conference. He is from Portugal, and was so real and down to earth. It was an honor to be able to meet him, and participate together in Stake Conference. He told stories about his own life to teach an important principle.

We first heard him speak in the Saturday evening session. A member of the Stake Presidency spoke about the importance of FHE, family prayer, scripture study, and attending the temple. He helped us envision a four leaf clover with these 4 important parts of the leaves of the clover. Elder Roche completely gave a different talk than he was planning on. He felt impressed to talk about the importance of the things that had been talked about earlier in the meeting. He was able to solidify these 4 important things in the minds of the members. He shared the experience he had with his family and scripture study. He said how difficult it was to find a time to read together. First they tried after dinner, but that didn’t work. His two boys were falling asleep. Then they tried before dinner, and that didn’t work either, because his children were too hungry. They decided to try in the morning before he went to work. It was great the 1st day, and then the second day their children were late. The third day it was only he and his wife. So they decided they needed to make a change. So they decided to go back to evening scripture study. This time it worked. The principle: be obedient and never give up. He talked for a long time about when he was bishop and then a Stake President. There were many couples that we struggling in their marriage. As a young 13 year-old, he was baptized, and was the only member of his family until his mother joined the church 10 years later. He remembers the words of Elder Wirthlin when he was a new member, maybe 14 years old. Elder Wirthlin invited husbands to write notes of love and appreciation to your wife, and leaving them on the mirror or in her shoes as a surprise. He also encouraged the men to buy flowers for their wives occasionally. Elder Rocha said, “I thought this is boring, this doesn’t apply to me.” But those are the words that I have remembered. So when he got married at 18 and his wife was 19 the only instruction book that he had about marriage was what he remembered Elder Wirthlin spoke about those many years before. So that is what he did. So as a Stake President, he counseled those who were struggling to use Elder Wirthlin’s advice. He would call them up and see if they were doing it. At first they thought he was just kidding. But everyday they would get a call from him, seeing if they were taking Elder Wirthlin’s advice. He also counseled them to do the four things on the shamrock. He said those that were struggling were the couples that were not having FHE together, reading their scriptures, temple attendance, and family prayer. He stressed the importance of these four things, and what a huge difference it can make in our lives.

On Sunday morning he shared another story from his own life. When he was first married they didn’t have enough money for an apartment of their own, so they moved in with his parents. That didn’t go well with his wife and his mother, and they knew they had to move. They were able to find an apartment that they could afford. They had enough money to pay the first month’s rent, but were discouraged when they found out that they had to have 2 months rent paid up front. They went to their bishop asking for help. The church was in it’s infancy in Portugal, and the bishop told them he had no way to help them, and sent them to the Stake President. The Stake President asked if they had heard of the law of tithing. He said that he had not. So the Stake President taught them about tithing. Well, it wasn’t quite what they were expecting. And Elder Rocha was a little bitter towards the church. But his wife said, Let us do what the Stake President has asked us to do. So they paid their tithing. A few months later, they found an apartment that was nicer and less money. They moved their only piece of furniture-his small single bed, and they were very happy. They use a large detergent box with a tray on it for their kitchen table, and sat on the floor. One day they found an advertisement for used furniture for sale. The seller was moving out of the country and needed to sell all of his furniture. They had enough money to buy the table and chairs. The seller tried to sell his couch, bookcase, tv, but Elder Rocha told the man that he had nothing to put in the bookcase, and that they only had enough for the kitchen table and chairs. The man thought for a minute, and then said, “I don’t know why I am doing this, but you can have all of the furniture for the price of the table and chairs.” There was the challenge of getting it moved, and after all was said and done the man moved all the furniture for the price of the table and chairs. The principle is obedience. They were greatly blessed by Heavenly Father.

I love his simple way of teaching! He taught a principle so profoundly through experiences in his own life. He would first suggest that we listen to the spirit, not to take notes, but to listen sensitively to what the Lord wanted us to learn.

It has been a real gift to have these two days with Elder Roche.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Interviews Begin in Ghent and Breda

Preach My Gospel goes everywhere with the missionaries. This personal copy of Predik mijn evangelie belongs to Harry. Brother Harry comes to all of the interviews and Zone Conferences. He is a great example to the missionaries of selfless service. He gives 100 % to the missionary effort. Harry is a member of the Breda Ward and has really caught the vision of missionary work! He lives the life of a missionary each day, and is available to go proselyting, finding, or offers his help in any way that he can each day of the week. Harry studies and learns from his missionary manual everyday. Harry is a great blessing and example to the fortunate missionaries here in Breda who love Harry so much! President Brubaker had the privilege of interviewing the "oldest" missionary. Harry is 80 years old, but has the mind and energy of a young missionary!

President Brubaker and I were excited to spend a day in Ghent, Belgium and then a day in Breda with our Dutch Zone. Elder Christensen and Elder Stringham were so creative today! It was all on friendship.

1-missionaries were in a sword duo-every time the they would hit their swords (bamboo sticks) they would have to tell what they could do to be a better companion.

2. Elder Christensen would throw out a question about the “Friend Ship” and then they would try and hit it with a made up cannon ball.


How can you show love to your companion?

What can you do to show love to your parents?

How can you support the members of your ward?

Elder Christensen had a great pirate accent! It was really fun, and the missionaries had a good time, and learned practical things to show more love and be more effective missionaries! Then we all went back into the chapel and Elder Stringham gave us each an opportunity to write to someone in the mission, how much we appreciated them. They had paper and envelope with stamps already on them! It was taken very seriously, and they gave us about 20 minutes to write our letters. It was great training!

The next day we were in the Hague. We had the privilege of meeting an investigator from Romania. Doralin has studied many principles from Stephen Covey. He recently learned that Stephen Covey is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and ordered a free Book of Mormon. he chose that the missionaries deliver the Book of Mormon to his door. Doralin loves the Book of Mormon and is sharing the Gospel with his Romanian friends!

Elder Dalpias and Elder LeFevre are teaching him. The Hague is so blessed with great zone leaders that have truly caught the vision of being an example for the other missionaries in their zone. We learned about working together and utilizing each person on the team.
Sister Bennett and Sister Robbins are enjoying their time as companions. They are both blessed with great musical abilities and are working on our traveling missionary Christmas choir. They have so many great ideas, and we are excited to see how this missionary/ward effort goes.
Can you see why we love our missionaries so much?

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Mission Leadership Council Meeting

It was an inspirational feeling to have all of the Zone Leaders here together! They are really trying hard to be good leaders. The training was excellent, and President Brubaker and the assistants had put in a lot of time on their preparation. Scott talked to them about leadership skills and how to be the example for the other missionaries. "Do as I do not as I say." He is really trying to instill within each of them a more loving way to lead. Little by little, hopefully they are catching the vision and what it means to lead by example. It is exciting for me to have a few of the missionaries come up to me and say that they love having a cleaner apartment, and a clean desk as they start studying in the morning. They are really starting to catch the vision!

In the afternoon the assistants talked about better ways to prepare people for baptism. There was a lot participation. President Brubaker talked to them about being creative in their finding. He said, "you are the luckiest missionaries in the world because in our mission we encourage making your finding creative! He said, "Many of you have asked me if we are having to still have 14 hours of finding in a week. I have been a little evasive, haven’t I ? I think we should be finding 40 hours a week. We should always be in the mode of finding wherever we are."

The French missionaries brought pastries from France for breakfast. We were all excited! Then for lunch we had a snack of different kinds of French cheese, grapes and plums, a veggie tray with dip and French bread. For dinner I served barbecue chicken, baked beans, and green salad, and French bread. They are all so appreciative of a good meal! It doesn't seem to matter what I prepare, the missionaries are happy!

President Brubaker feels it is important to have a representative from the sister missionaries at the leadership council meeting. Sister Gagon from the French side and Sister Erickson from the Dutch side enjoyed being together for the day. Their insight and experiences and wisdom added greatly to the meeting.

I was really impressed as Elder DeMass asked each zone leader share their feelings about a recent baptism in their zone. He asked each zone leader to share the story of how they were found and a short story of their conversion. The room was so full of love for these new converts, and it was so inspiring to hear these personal stories.

President Brubaker took a few minutes before the arrival of missionaries for last minute preaparations.
No one makes pastries like the French!