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, December 27, 2009

It's A Winter Wonderland

The snow continues to fall! We feel right at home as if we were back in Utah! It is very amusing to watch the Belge, French, and Nederlanders try and remove snow. Snow shovels are hard to come by here, so they use the next best thing or whatever they have on hand. I don't think the squeegy will be quite the same when they try to clean their windows! Brooms work well, but garden rakes and shovels I would not recommend! They can be a little bad on the back!
Elder Harper and Elder Clawson in Lille, France
The beautiful forests just outside of Brussels!
We were excited to see that they really do have snow snowplows in Holland! What a relief!

It is a mystery to me how the people in Holland ride their bicycles on the icy and snowy streets! Somehow they have it all figures out.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve At the Mission Home

With lots of help we pulled off a great Christmas Eve dinner! We had turkey, stuffing, potatoes and gravy, corn and beans, fruit salad and lots of smiles around the table. We had 15 of us! Soeur Grand Fils came to join us, from the Brussels I Ward The Elders put on a nativity for our Christmas program! It was like no other nativity we have ever had before in our famiy! They were very creative!
Elder Wells and Elder Waldi were my helpful elves in the kitchen! They were wonderful, and willing to do whatever was needed to be done!
We had a special guest arrive just in time for Christmas Eve! Our daughter Rachel arrived today for Christmas Eve! The best Christmas present ever! She fit right in and enjoyed getting to know some of our missionaries! She is sitting between Sister Burgoyne and Sister Rideout.
We enjoyed the French tradition of Bûche de Noël for dessert.
Elder Simonsen was our narrator. Elder Christensen and Elder Mitchell listen intently to Luke II, as they played the parts of the Shepherds.

Elder Schmutz and Soeur Burgoyne played the part of Mary and Joseph.

Our angel missionaries, Soeur Rideout, Elder Kent, and Elder Wells.

Elder Wells, Elder Ferguson, and Elder Berlin were our very wise Wisemen bearing gifts.

Elder Waldi and Elder Ferguson were good sports to be our sheep for the kind Shepherds.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

What a Surprise!

President Brubaker and I drove to Lille, France to prepare for interviews the next day. We went to the Centre to get a bite to eat and who should we run into! Our missionaries! They were caroling and it was such a nice surprise and to be in the right place at the right time!

Soeur Fritsch is one of our gifted trainers. Soeur Gappmeier was trained by her ands also Soeur Nielson is being trained by Soeur Fritsch. She is from the region of France called the Alsace. President Brubaker served in her home town of Strasburg when he was a young missionary. It was great to see soeur Kohler, who was transferred from Brussels. All these sisters are serving in Lille and are enjoying the French side of our mission.

Two New Missionaries Arrive

We spent the day in Arras, France with our missionaries. President Brubaker interviewed the missionaries in the Arras district. Elder Bertrand and Elder Scott provided a gourmet Chinese lunch for us! Our missionaries have so many talents, and these two elders were happy to share their love for cooking with us.

Elder Bertrand and Elder Scott putting their talents to work!
Elder Lamoreaux, Soeur Curren, Elder Cabrera and Soeur Carson are more than willing to do the dishes after a feast!
We were notified just a few days earlier that we had two new missionaries coming! We were excited, and after interviews we met them in Charleroi. They were delivered to their first assignment by the assistants. Too bad we couldn't be in two places at once! We were so happy to welcome Soeur Clark and Elder Boudhaine to our mission!

Soeur Clark hit the jackpot! She has two companions, Soeur Hulet and Soeur Bagwell!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Concerts Continue

The choir members enjoyed getting some photo shots before the concert in Rotterdam.
Zuster Bennett put together a beautiful Christmas Program

On the 17th and 18th of December the Choir performed in the afternoon in The Hague and Rotterdam. The wards were very supportive and invited many investigators to enjoy and evening of beautiful Christmas music. There was a sweet feeling of warmth and love as the missionaries shared their talents and their love for their Savior Jesus Christ at this Christmas season. Hearts were touched, souls were softened, and testimonies were strengthened by all who were in attendance.
Our missionary choir with a ward member
Elder LeFevre with the Rotterdam Ward Mission Leader
Stropwafels not only tasted great but also were great hand warmers!

Out With the Old and In with the New

Does this car look like it has almost 200,000 km on it? Today is the day we get a new mission van. The Espace has become like a family member. We have had a few challenges with the car, so I guess it is for the best!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Back to Basics-Theme for Leadership Council

Leadership Council covered "Back to the Basics," our theme for this transfer. What does that mean? We are going to focus on some of the basic skills as taught in Preach My Gospel. The missionaries were inspired and excited to become more "Preach My Gospel Missionaries." President Brubaker taught them from Chapter 10 of Preach My Gospel, and each missionary learned and contributed to the day of training.

The missionaries are always so excited to have a home cooked meal. I think they were especially excited to have Hot Taco Salad!

Two sister missionaries are invited to come to Leadership Council. They always have so much to offer and spiritual insight to contribute to the training. It was a joy to have Soeur Powers and Soeur Shannon from Liege, Belgium join us!

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Christmas Concerts Begin

For several months the missionaries have been preparing for the Missionary Christmas Concert Tour. Antwerp was the 2nd concert. The first one was held in Brussels. The choir is made up of missionaries from the Dutch side of our mission. We have very talented missionaries! Sister Bennett is our choir director and Sister Robbins accompanied the choir on her violin, and Elder DeMass played his bagpipes. Many people would stop and listen as he played Christmas Carols on his bagpipes! We had missionaries talking to the people passing by who stopped and listened to the choir. They invited them to come to a missionary concert in the church, and gave them a flyer with the name and address of the church. Many people seemed very interested. It was a great way to share the message of Jesus Christ at this Christmas season.
A young little boy was enamored by the choir! He was one of the best admirers of the choir, and stayed for almost the whole concert! He kept us entertained as he did a little jig to the Christmas music.
Beautiful Antwerp all aglow with Christmas lights!
Zuster Vels has no problem communicating in her native language as she shared the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ with this nice gentleman.
Elder DeMass has been playing the bagpipes since he was 12. We found that not many people have not heard the bagpipes played before. They were so interested, and stopped to listen. We had a large audience gather to listen to Christmas songs played and sung by the choir.
President Brubaker enjoyed a half meter during the concert break for lunch

Snow in Every Nook and Cranny of Our Mission!

We were told that it was very rare that we would see snow on our mission. We felt we were back in Utah! The problem is that they don't know what to do with the white stuff! We got caught in a big snow storm on our way to the missionary concert!

The ducks seem to be frozen into the ice!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Big Transport to the Brussels Airport

Elder and Sister Pancratz were at the mission home early to pick up all of the luggage for 12 missionaries. We are so grateful to them for their willingness and service to our mission. Where would we be without the Pancratz? I think they have the secret to the Fountain of Youth!
Elder Monson has blessed the lives of many of our missionaries. We will miss his forever positive attitude. Please keep in touch Elder Monson!
Elder Riley was happy to meet his parents at the airport. They will travel together throughout the mission before returning to the states together.
The other elders were all successfully checked through...........
Elder Hoskyns was happy to find his passport, but not in time to catch his original flight. We were given a few extra minutes to visit with him, while the ticket agent and Salt Lake arranged for him to catch the next flight out to America. We love you all and look forward to hearing great things as you start the next exciting chapter of your life.