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, May 31, 2010

True Love is a Joint Teach

President Brubaker wrote today in his letter to the missionaries,

"We can help our investigators by MAKING SURE that we expose them soon and often to the members. We do this initially by involving them with the members through JOINT TEACHES. We cannot overestimate the importance of joint teaches. If we really love our investigators it will become a very high priority to help them to transfer their feelings of emotional attachment from us, to the Lord and the members. Only in this way will they gain the strength to endure."

Enjoy this wonderful story of conversion and baptism through the joy of what can happen when members are involved.

Elder Duran finished his mission on Thursday, two days before the baptism of Gaysirry and Aisha. He wanted to be a part of this special day. He was able to get a photo when the girls were fitted for their baptismal clothing. He was able to leave them in the loving hands of the ward members.

The Lord truely truely stretched forth his hand in this story of how Elder Duran and I found Gaysirry and Aisha Kamikazi. Being two weeks into the transfer work was going pretty well. We were teaching lessons and making progress with our investigators. However, it was a little slower then we would have liked. Elder Duran and I were pondering on how we could find some new people to teach and find. I remembered from my first transfer in Heerlen that there was a familie from Burundi, Africa that one of our members had mentioned to us. We had tried to make an appointment my first transfer but the Mother said that the time wasn't right and they were too busy to meet with us. It was now almost two or so months later so I decided that I would call the member one more time and see if we could come stop by. We called and he said he would try his best to set up an appointment. At church that next week he said he got a hold of the mother and she said we could drop by the following Tuesday. Elder Duran and I had a wonderful feeling about the appointment. We went along with the member who set up the appointment and taught the restoration and talked about the purpose of this life. The spirit was so strong and said we needed to extend an baptismal date. We extended the commitment at the end of the lesson. We decided on a date only 4 weeks later, May 29. The girls were very excited and the mother agreed to let her girls take that step of baptism, but she would not because she had already been baptized. We set the date for May 29 with Gaysirry (11) and Aisha (13). They have come to church 4 weeks in a row and were baptized on May 29. We are currently teaching the mother and have high hopes that as she sees the power of the gospel work in her daughters and as we discuss authority, she will accept the step of baptism as well. What a wonderful blessing from the Lord! -French Speakers are needed for the mother!

Memorial Day in Margraten

Thanks Sister Langeveld for the beautiful description of our day.
The Dutch province of Limburg is in the extreme southeastern part of the Netherlands, close to the German and Belgian borders. There is a point where you can stand on the common borders of the three nations, something like the four corners area of the southwestern United States. Much of the Netherlands is below sea level and the phrase "flat as a pancake" originated here. The Limburg region is higher ground and is incredibly beautiful, with hills and thick forests.

The main purpose of our visit to the area was to attend special Memorial Day services at Margraten Cemetery, an American burial ground for 8,301 U.S. soldiers who gave their lives during the battles of WW II. They were all very young soldiers and 39 of them are buried by their siblings, who also died in battles throughout the region.
Our group had speciall VIP passes and parking because we were able to continue the tradition of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints laying one of the wreaths during the ceremony. We were the only Church included in the laying of the wreaths.

Some of the other wreaths were laid by Japan, Poland, Germany, Great Britain, France, Netherlands, USA, and various military groups. Today, we are extremely proud of all the brave Americans who continue to serve our nation in the defense of freedom and against tyranny and terrorism.
Elder Brockbank and Elder Black are serving in Heerlen, only a few minutes from Margraten. They were touched by the love the Dutch people showed for these young American soldiers who gave their lives for the freedoms they enjoy today.
We all tried to stay dry, while having a tailgate lunch.
The sun came out just in time for a great picture of our group.
President Brubaker had a meeting with the stake presidents of Holland
and Belgium, and was not able to be with us.

There were many veterans dressed in the Dutch army uniform.
I wish we knew their stories.
Our group had speciall VIP passes and parking because we were able to continue the tradition of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints laying one of the wreaths during the ceremony. Elder Tibbetts was able to represent our church. We were the only Church included in the laying of the wreaths. Some of the other wreaths were laid by Japan, Poland, Germany, Great Britain, France, Netherlands, USA, and various military groups.
Fortunately, we were prepared with umbrellas because of the cloudy skies.
Even with our little "shelters", we were soaked to the skin!

Elder Black and Elder Brockbank took advantage of waiting for the ceremony to begin.
They were able to share the gospel with the woman on the bleacher seat directly behind them..
The elders were excited to give her a pass-a-long card when the ceremony was over.
Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands was in attendance( that is the queen, front row with the traditional black hat,) as was the US Ambassador to the Netherlands whose parents are Dutch, and the Secretary of Veteran Affairs who represented Pres. Obama, and the Admiral of the Atlantic Fleet. The Queen was present because it was the 65th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands this year
What a great privilege it was for us to witness such an event. It was very sobering to see so many white crosses in rows, each one representing a young life given in sacrifice for the freedoms we all enjoy.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Kulwa Ibrahim is Baptized in Kortrijk, Belgium

Kulwa Ibrahim, Kortrijk, Belgium, May 29, 2010

At Kortrijk Elder Garrett andElder van Doesburg just finishd a consecrated hour in Wevelem, close by Kortrijk. We went to the bus stop and the came in 15 minutes. We decided to wait and there was already someone waiting for the bus. It was Kulwa we greated him and we sat down. Then when he saw our name tags he askes us straight away when we would talk to him about Jesus Christ. And we answered that we could do it anytime. We made an appointment and talked a little more and then the bus came. and in Kortrijk we said goodbye. The first lessons we thought him about Jesus Christ out of the Book of Mormon and came to know him a little. Second lesson we made a baptismal calander and accepted it. We saw him three times a week and helped him out, he was progressing. and then after two months he was sustained as a member. He is prepared. he came with us to zone Pday to play football cause that is his sports, mine too. It was great. he also came to a branch activity. We had some great joint teaches. Wonderfull Story by elder van Doesburg

A Memorable Senior Outing

Valkenburg is situated in a beautiful part of the Netherlands which is perfectly suited for walks or (mountain) bike tours through the hilly terrain. Valkeberg) is a municipality in the southeastern Netherlands. Elder Salden's brother lives very close, and offered to take the senior couples on an outing they will never forget! Due to our other responsibilities with the Single Adults in Eindhoven, I understand we really missed out! Sister Langeveld describes their day:

Elder Salden is from Limburg and he arranged for his brother to be our tour guide on Saturday, May 29th, in the Valkenburg area. We were so glad that we wore our tennis shoes for the "walk" that was planned! We hiked for nearly five hours past beautiful buildings, churches, houses and caves carved into stone mountains, woods, meadows with gorgeous flowers and wild cows and horses, old farmhouses, and a welcome outdoor cafe. Only a native of the area could show us what we experienced that day, and we'll always remember our wonderful experience.
The Brubakers joined us for a lovely dinner together at a German restaurant, afterwhich we retired to our hotel rooms, happy and tired. The next day was Sunday and we all attended church together in the nearby Heerlen Ward. We were so surprised to see English hymn books and hear the meeting conducted in English! Many military families live in nearby Germany and attend the Ward, thereby making it an English speaking ward. Some Dutch is also spoken there, but most of the local members speak excellent English, too.
Just a little resemblance!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Departing Missionaries Bid Farewell

President Brubaker tried to devise a plan to keep this great group of missionaries just a little while longer. We love each one of these missionaries as our own! We have reached a point in our mission where we were privileged to be here for 1/2 or more of their mission. We became so close! We expect great things in the lives of each one of these missionaries as they begin the next chapter of their lives.
Left -right: Elder Duran, Elder Howell, Elder Mecham, Sister Gulliver,
elder LeFevre, Sister Brubaker, President Brubaker, Elder Morrow, and Elder Dalpias.
Elder LeFevre and Elder Dalpias were Zone Leaders when we arrived. We loved listening to their message machine. It was music to our ears during those wild and crazy first months of our mission!

After President Brubaker spent most of the day interviewing our missionaries for the last time, they came to the mission home ready for dinner! We had a precious evening with them, one of strong testimony and resolve to stay strong instruments in the Lord's work.
Sister Gulliver was over weight! Getting baggages just under 45 pounds can be challenging at times! The elders were available to help with her weight by taking a few belgium chocolates for themselves.
"Let the Light of the Lord Shine Through...that's what makes you beautiful!"

Elder and Sister Dabel finish their 2nd mission to Holland. Elder Dabel has served three missions to Holland, as he served here as a young elder. Oh , how we all love the Dabels. The missionaries who were fortunate to serve with them will always have a shining example of dedicated service to our Heavenly Father.

How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.

As they passed through security, they take one longing book back,
and as Elder Morrow said in his farewell testimony, they say good-bye to
" The best two years FOR my life."

Missionaries Bring the Sunshine

This is one of our favorite days of the transfer! We received 7 excited missionaries in Bruxelles today!
Wow! We felt their energy and their relief to finally be starting their missions!

Welcome to the best mission in the world!
It was a beautiful, warm spring day in Brussels today! We have an amazing view of the city from the
balcony of the mission office. Only one of our missionaries has been to Europe, so they just couldn't
contain their instant love for this beautiful city.
After a very needed nap, we took our missionaries to Tevuren Park, where our mission
was dedicated in 1997 by Jeffrey R. Holland. We never tire of this experience!
The way the light filtered through the trees
reminded me so much of the Sacred Grove. It is always a joy to share this special
and spiritual place with our missionaries.
Our missionaries had their first experience at the Grand Place, talking and finding people interested
in the church. We paired off, two by two. Sister Harrington and I were companions.
We were able to share a special time with each other, as we were able to get a referral from
a young man from Hong Kong, and three medical students from Spain! Sister Harrington
came very well prepared for missionary work. She taught me how to be bold,
and bore a powerful testimony to these golden contacts.

Through out the evening, there was a growing anticipation of getting back to the mission home,
so our missionaries could finally find out where they will be serving! They were all anxious to open
their envelopes with the names of their new companion and their first city.

Sister Harrington will be in Groningen with Sister Sharp.

Elder Brownell will be with Elder Keith in Rotterdam.
Sister Cranford will be with Sister Fowler in The Hague.
Elder Critttenden will be with Elder Thompson in Almere.
Sister De Groot will be in Gouda with Sister Robbins.
Elder Fullmer will be with Elder Matthews in Den Bosch.
Elder Alexander will be with Elder Robinson in The Hague.
Can you just feel their excitement?
After breakfast, we loaded all luggage and said our good-byes as
Elder Tibbetts and Elder Pancratz delivered them to the train station. Now the
true joy begins!

Even the rain couldn't dampen the sprits of our missionaries!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Our Office Elders are the Best!

Every Monday, Elder Owens, Elder Bell, Elder Christensen, and Elder Wells prepare for a home cooked meal provided by Sister Pancratz and Sister Tibbetts! They were especially happy today when they readied themselves for good old fashioned sloppy joes! We felt we were all back in America having a picnic!

There isn't a task this awesome foursome can't accomplish!
After a late night Sunday night, with the help of Elder Wells and Elder Christensen, and lots of help from above, President Brubaker was able to place everyone where the Lord wanted them to serve for the next six weeks. Everyone felt a sense of relief for a brief moment as we enjoyed sharing miracles of the past week around the table.
Elder Christensen will be heading back into the field after serving as one of our assistants with Elder Wells. He is excited to be going back to his first city, The Hague. We have all been tremendously blessed ! We will miss you Elder Christensen! We are relieved he won't be too far away!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Lorraine Moor is Baptized

Lorain Moore, Almere, The Netherlands, May 23, 2010

On May 23rd Lorain Moor was baptized. Several months earlier her brother Virgil was found during a consecrated hour. He was baptized as well as Lorain's boyfriend, Marciano. Missionaries were often at her home, teaching her brother and boyfriend. She was always attentive in the lessons and came often to church, but really wanted to be sure before she took the step to be baptized. She realized the importance of the baptismal covenant and what it means. With a little time and help from the bishop she became committed to joining the church. She suffered from a problem with her kidneys and was on dialysis. Because of this much of her time, energy, and life was taken up in 4 hour dialysis sessions every other day. However, she made time to hear the lessons and come to church. She was very ready and took the step. Her boyfriend Marciano, who was baptized a month earlier, performed the baptism. Her family and friends came, and several have also gained interest in joining the gospel. She is very helpful in explaining things to her family members and has a sound understanding of ther principles of the gospel. On the 7th of June Lorain got the news that there was a kidney available that was a match, and she went immediately to have the operation. She is still recovering, but if all goes well, she will be able to live a normal life and not have to do dialysis anymore. The Lord has blessed her and her family richly since their decision to join the church. They see these blessings as gifts from the Lord and are very grateful for them. Virgil, Marciano, and Lorain are very committed to the gospel and living it's principles. They have already had to sacrifice a lot, but the blessings are being poured down upon them. Their conversion process was really cool for me to see, and I am so grateful the Lord has blessed me that I can see such great examples of faith on my mission. (Elder Thompson)