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, June 27, 2010

A Moment of Joy!

Ray ( Jiang Dairu) - Deventer, the Netherlands
June 27, 2010

We met Ray during a consecrated hour with Pres and Sis. Brubaker. There we invited him to come to a party at the Jovo Center that night. (A missionary was leaving on his missions so they decided to have a party) Ray is the kind of person who loves a party so he showed up. He kept coming to the activities and within 1 or 2 weeks we were teaching him. In the process he stopped smoking and was baptized.

Right now he has many Joint teaches on his track record, a testimony essential to the conversion of Angela, Sharing the gospel with his family in China. Ray is amazing. (Written by Elder DeBruijn)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

A Week Full of Baptisms

We feel very blessed as a mission. We were able to see eight precious souls come to the waters of baptism this week. President Brubaker and I had the privilege of meeting Isatu before she was baptized. The light in her eyes spoke volumes of the happiness the Gospel has brought into her life.

Isatu was born in Sierra Leone and is a refugee who found asylum here in the Netherlands. She was found by missionaries about a year ago and began receiving the lessons, but as she was taking the lessons she was not convinced that it was the right thing. She was super confused by all of the other churches around her and the many things that people were saying. She began to avoid the missionaries and then went on vacation to Sierra Leone and lost contact completely. When she came back from Sierra Leone, her kids started living with her again. On New Year's Eve, at midnight, she and her daughter, Mary, decided they would pray. She says she didn't really know how to pray, but they just began pouring their hearts out to God and for the first time in her life she really felt His presence--that He was there for her and watching out for her and her children. She realized that all of the good things in her life had come from God and that she had been saved time and time again in the wars in Sierra Leone through God. A couple of months later she ran into the Elders on the street. She took it as a sign from God and decided to start investigating the church again. She came to church every week after that and invited her uncle, Ibrahim Lumeh, to take the lessons as well, telling him that she believed she had found the true church. We taught her and Mary while the Elders came once a week to teach Ibrahim. Their testimonies grew and grew. In one lesson, a few weeks ago, they all bore their testimonies about how they had finally found the true church and talked about how grateful they were. Her 4 year old son also thanked God for finding the true church in his prayer at the end of the lesson. It was then that they really knew that they had made the right decision to be baptized. They were baptized on the 26 of June, 2010, and afterwards Isatu told me that she felt perfect--that she had never felt like this in her life and that she was so happy. It was wonderful!

Mariela Mendoza was a member referral. Her husband passed away due to cancer and she was lonely. Creating a strong relationship with various elders gave her the feeling that she had adopted many sons (she still refers to us as her "sons" to this day). She saw many trials and obstacles during her teaching process. It took alot of faith to make time to attend church meetings--even more faith to quit smoking. Mariela didn't have the courage at first, but after one and a half years of investigating the church she took the leap of faith and was prepared for baptism. She was baptized on June 26, 2010. It was a wonderful experience!

Quincy knew some of the JoVos from school throughout the years, and had developed a particularly strong friendship with Daan Peschair. Daan went on a mission to England in April, but he invited Quincy to the JoVo center here in Den Haag, just before he went. He also invited Quincy to his setting apart. We had begun teaching Quincy and his mother by this time. Quincy continued to attend activities the JoVos put on, such as Family Home Evening and institute every week, the volleyball tournament in Groningen, as well as just going to the movies, pizza hut night, and other get-togethers they had. At our lessons, he seemed more intellectually interested in how our church works, at least at first. Then, he began meeting with us more often than his mom, and the lessons became more centered around him. He had always done the assignments, but then he began to do more than we asked, like researching every aspect of the priesthood, Adam and Eve, patriarchal blessings, etc. He couldn't get enough to read. He was also ready to do whatever he was asked, whether it was say a prayer at the JoVo center, or prepare a report for us on the history of the priesthood, and the responisiblities of the priesthood. At this lesson about the priesthood, we asked him what he thought of baptism. Before, he and his mom were hestitant because they had already been baptized a year before by immersion. He said that he had felt at home since the first time he came to the JoVo center, and that he felt the same at church. He knew that this church had the priesthood of God, that he needed to be baptized again, but that he didn't know enough as the other JoVos that had been raised in the church, and that was why he studied so much, so that he could prepare himself as soon as possible. We assured him that he didn't need to know everything before getting baptized, showed him a teaching calendar to show how much he had already learned, and told him the he probably knew more already because of all of his studying than the average member. His family did not support him in his decision, ranging from indifference on one side to anger and extreme disappointment on the other. But he did it, because, as he told us, he knows it's true, and he knows he needed to do it. He was baptized yesterday, and will be confirmed on July 4.

More baptism stories to come.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Brima Mansoly Baptized in Arnhem

Sister Tibbitts worked tirelessly with the missionaries to get photos and stories of baptisms in our mission. I don't want anyone of them to be forgotten. Enjoy these amazing miraculous stories. Later I will put them in order by baptismal date.

Brima Mansoly, Arnhem Holland, June 25, 2010

Brima was a golden investigator from the beginning. He approached us on the street and told us that he had found the church in Sierra Leona and that he wanted to be baptised. It was smooth sailing from there. He is the most quiet African brotha you will ever meet, but he has great faith. He had a couple hard times during the teaching process, hearing about the loss of a family member in Sierra Leona and losing contact with his wife and daughter. He always pushed through though and never lost his faith in his Heavenly Father. The Baptismal Service was an amazing experience for everyone present. Washed clean, the first thing he did when he came out of the water was say thank you and throw his arms around Elder Waldie. We waited outside his dressing room and were surprised to see him come out with a big smile and a tie on (we had no idea he could tie a tie). It was a joyous experience and we will never forget the Spirit we felt that day.

From Elders Marshall and Waldie, in Arnhem.

Elio Mario is Baptized in Dordrecht

Elio Mario – June 2010

Elio Mario is the son of Afonso who is a refugee from Angola. He had fled to Portugal, there he met Ana (Elios mom), who came to the Netherlands just three days before the baptism. Afonso had stopped coming to church when he first arrived because of the language barrier, but then just showed up one day with Elio. We began teaching ten year old Elio. He loves the Book of Mormon, He reads the stories in the kinder Book of Mormon and then tells us what he read at our apt.s. We loved his recognition of the spirit while reading about Nephi and Laman and Lemuel "When I read this part.(aka about going to get the plates..I feel good, but when I read about them I don't". We are so excited for this little family who are now going to prepare to go to the temple together. He was baptized on June 25, 2010.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Our Interviews Continue in Apeldoorn and Zwolle

Our missionaries throughout the mission love Fla! You might be a little inquisitive, wondering what is Fla? Missionaries have been known to have Fla challenges, seeing who can get the most down in the shortest amount of time. Missionaries have a reputation for downing a full container in seconds! After being here just a few months, President Brubaker was initiated and passed with flying colors as he drank a container in record time! Fla is a little hard to describe. I would say it is between yogurt and custard, but more watered down. Fla was served for lunch during our interviews in Apeldoorn, and we had very happy missionaries!
Sister Sharp and Sister Harrington are doing wonderful way up North in our mission.
They are serving in Groningen. If you go much further you are in the Wadden Zee!

Sister Sharp took a picture of the rest of the district for me.
Missionaries love it when we bring mail! There are a few dejected faces in the bunch.
Sorry Elder Mueller and Elder Pinnock.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Week of Blessings

We had an eventful week as we traveled through the mission, interviewing our missionaries. We started in Antwerp. While President Brubaker interviewed one missionary I visited with the companion and taught them about a simple envelope budgeting system. Missions are a time in their lives to learn some basics, and what a perfect time for them to learn to account for their 160 euros a month.
I invited them to try this system for three months, and then we will evaluate. Our missionaries in the Antwerp Zone were excited to give it a try.

Here are our awesome Flemish missionaries!

Bisous is from Sierra Lyon and speaks French and English. After interviews in the Hague,
I had the privilege of going with Sister Reber, Fowler, and Cranford on a joint teach.
I was able to help with the language barrier. It was a joy to teach with the sisters.
There was a joyful reunion with Sister Vels and her parents in the Hague.
Sister Vels completed a successful faith inspired mission, and saw many
miracles happen while she served in her homeland of the
Netherlands. We love you Sister Vels and will miss you!

Sister Stapleton, Sister Driggs, and Sister Garvin are serving together
in the beautiful city of Haarlem.
The elders provided us all with a delicious lunch. They made sure there were no leftovers!
Last but not least, we finished our week in Amsterdam.
They received inspirational training by Elder Sticht.

What a great week we had with our missionaries. We feel it a privilege
to be among young men and women that love their Savior Jesus Christ,
and have a strong desire to find those who have been prepared to receive the Gospel.
They are trying to show more Faith as they present the teaching calendar to their
new invesitgators in the 1st or 2nd lesson. We are witnessing a new energy
and more devotion as they act in Faith.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Roof Over Our Heads

Every Monday morning President Brubaker sends an inspirational message to our missionaries via e-mail. It is there waiting for them to read when they write their weekly letter to the President and send their weekly email to their family. This is the letter he wrote our missionaries this week.

Dear Elders and Sisters,

As we travel from city to city for interviews, we have noticed these sheds or small hay barns. For the longest time we wondered why the four poles were sticking up into the air.

Recently we became aware of the answer … the roof moves up and down the poles as the hay is added to or taken away from the “barn”. In this way the roof is always securely covering the hay from the elements, regardless of the amount of hay in the barn at any given time.

This “barn” provides consistent protection amidst changing circumstances.

Let’s think of this roof as obedience to the mission rules, the white handbook and the promptings of the Spirit. If we are 100% obedient, it is like a strong watertight roof always there to protect us. Obedience shields us from the elements of the opposition. It lets us sleep well at night, knowing things are in order. When it is in place the wind of temptation has little effect on us. Best of all, like the hay, there will always be Spiritual Nourishment available to us as we are obedient.

On our missions, as in life, there will be changing circumstances. As we live close to the Spirit we will know how to adjust the ‘obedience roof’ and always live in such a way as to please our Father in Heaven.

Keeping the prescribed schedule is important.

When teaching, the 45 minutes and out rule, is important so the Spirit stays strong. Always being in sight of our companion avoids a multitude of problems. Writing a letter to the president each week is being obedient. Careful planning to avoid “down times” is a form of obedience. Only taking our camera with us one day a week other than P-days and missionary work purposes, is a form of caring for our ‘obedience roofs’.

So why the poles? Does the level of obedience change? NO, we should always strive to be obedient … The adjustment comes as we follow the Spirit WITHIN the guidelines of the rules. Certain missionaries have asked for, and received, permission to have an extra half hour of language study as is needed. By coordinating with your leaders you may want to switch P-days once in a transfer to be able to see a museum which is closed on Monday.

Now, there is a part of us that might want to adjust the poles for selfish or lack of diligence purposes. When we start bending or breaking rules on a whim, we leave the roof too far up in the air. If we do this, soon the wind and the rain of the adversary can severely damage our ability to serve as effective missionaries.

We have a very strong culture of obedience in our mission. As a mission president this is such a blessing. It allows me the flexibility of making adjustments, knowing that you will not take unfair advantage.

But, please be aware; there is no tolerance for outright disobedience in our mission. To do so would be leaving the roof up in the air and letting the adversary have a foothold where he would most like to have it.

Strengthen your roofs! Examine them for weak spots. Take action to patch them where needed. In this way you will ensure the blessings of the Lord to be ever present in this most important work of helping God to bring about the immortality and Eternal life of His children.

Have a wonderful week and know of our love for each one of you,

President Brubaker

Our Mission is Doubly Blessed

Elder and Sister Tibbitts are serving in our mission and are invaluable help in the office. They are from Provo, Utah and have been with us for a few short months. Elder and Sister Pancratz have given 100% to putting their many talents and abilities in getting our office in tip top shape. They were finally able to go to Amsterdam this week and start an outreach center there. They have been so patient as we waited for the Tibbitts to arrive. With the help of both of these couples we are in GOOD hands!

Sister Tibbitts loves being a missionary again. She served a mission in South Carolina as a young missionary. She was able to spend a day with the sisters in Antwerp.

Here is her experience:

"We had a wonderful day together. I was able to see first-hand what a day in the life of a young missionary was like. We walked a lot, rode a lot of trains, talked to lots of people (on trains, on the street, in apartments, in stores, at the fries place, etc), and taught lessons to investigators and
members. We said a lot of prayers; in
their apartment, on the street, in the train station before and after teaching a lesson, at night, in the morning, before studying, etc. The sisters are positive, outgoing, bold, and love their missions. I am so impressed with all they do. I loved experiencing all of it, including individual study and companion study and language study in the morning. It was a great experience.

The 1st photo is Sister Holbein and Sister Fritz checking the mail, the third photo is Sister Tibbitts and the sisters enjoying Belgium frites for dinner.The last photo is taken in the Antwerp train station of the sisters teaching a lesson.
( the order is a little mixed up.)

Sister Holbein and Sister Fritz are loving everyday day as emissaries for our Savior Jesus Christ. They share with us daily miracles that they are having in Antwerp, as they share the Gospel with God's children. ( miracle story to follow soon)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Beautiful Baptism of Frazima

Elder Matthews and Elder Fullmer
in Den Bosch

We met Frazima Mukamurenzi at Caterina's (then an investigator, now a member) house when we came over for an appointment. She was invited to participate in the lesson, and after the lesson, she told us that she would be interested in a Book of Mormon. We wrote down her information, and brought the Book of Mormon by the next week. We gave her the book, and explained where it came from. She accepted the book and told us that it would be alright if we came back to teach her a little bit more. After the first sit down appointment, she told us that she knew that the Book was true, and accepted a committment to be baptized. We taught her for about a month and a half, and then she was baptized. She told us that when she heard the lessons, she knew that what we taught was true, and knew it was what she had been looking for. She was 'kept from the truth only because she knew not where to find it.' She was baptized June 19, 2010.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Becoming a Part of the Culture

President Brubaker has encouraged our missionaries to learn about the culture where they are serving. He suggests using some time on P-Days to experience and learn about the way of life and the history of the Netherlands and Belgium. Holland and Belgium are filled with a vast amount of art museums, old churches, open-air museums, and architecture dating back more than 700 years. To have a greater understanding of the culture and history of the Dutch and Flemish people whom they share the Gospel, and work with in the wards and branches, our missionaries can become more knowledgeable of the European ways as they learn a little about their history.
Volendam in the early 20th Century
Originally, Volendam was the location of the harbor of the nearby Edam, which was situated at the mouth of the river IJ. In 1357, the inhabitants of Edam dug a shorter canal to the Zuiderzee with its own separate harbor. This removed the need for the original harbor, which was then dammed and used for land reclamation. Farmers and local fishermen settled there, forming the new community of Vollendam, which literally meant something like 'Filled dam'. In the early part of the 20th century it became something of an artists' retreat, with both Picasso and Renoir spending time here. The majority of the population belongs to theRoman Catholic Church, which is deeply connected to the village culture. Historically, many missionaries and bishops grew up in Volendam.

Volendam is a popular tourist attraction in the Netherlands, well-known for its old fishing boats and the traditional clothing still worn by some residents. The women's costume of Volendam, with its high, pointed bonnet, is one of the most recognizable of the Dutch traditional costumes, and is often featured on tourist postcards and posters (although there are believed to be fewer than 50 women now wearing the costume as part of their daily lives, most of them elderly). There is a regular ferry connection toMarken, a peninsula close by. Volendam also features a small museum about its history and clothing style, and visitors can have their pictures taken in traditional Dutch costumes.

Zuster Ekstrom, Zuster Fritz, Zuster Fowler, and Zuster Robbins have a little taste of the culture
as they don these beautiful traditional costumes. Don't they look stunning in their high pointed Dutch bonnets?
Missionaries in the Den Hague and Amsterdam Zones enjoy a cultural P-Day together.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Orange Frenzy!

Holland is so excited about being a part of the World Cup this year. The streets near the church in the Hague are all decked out since the end of May, with banners, flags, and all kinds of window decorations. All of Holland is in an "Orangje" Frenzy! Lots of people wonder why all the orange when their flag colors are red, white and blue. It is because William of Orange and his descendants have been the queens and queens of Holland for centuries.

Now that Holland has won their second game, I think the frenzy will continue! Missionaries find it a little challenging to find people who will listen or make appointments during the broadcast of the games. All of Holland kind of shuts down and it can be a little wild. President Brubaker suggests finding people in creative ways. Transportation finding works really well on crazy game days.
The Church in the Hague.
Elder Robison, Elder Matthews and President Brubaker are showing Holland Pride!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Zone Conference in Beautiful Appeldoorn

As we entered the parking lot of the church in Apeldoorn, this is what we saw! All white Clios all lined up in a row. You can see what our mission cars look like, and we were happy to see missionaries coming into the church as we arrived! It is a moment of gratitude and surprise that these are OUR missionaries!

We had an inspiring and special day with our missionaries. Hearts were opened as President Brubaker talked to them about humility. Being humble is not being down on yourself. You can be confident and humble at the same time. (Preach My Gospel pg. 120)
A humble person is meek and teachable.
He recognizes that he is dependent on God and wants to submit to God's will. ...

We have some new faces to welcome. Sister Tibbetts and Sister Harrington are a beautiful and very important addition to our mission!

All missionaries were asked to bring their member books to Zone Conference. In order to become more familiar with the ward members, the missionaries have been putting this book together which includes photos of ward members and pertinent information to become better acquainted with members in their ward. The member book is especially helpful as a missionary is transferred into a new area and has to start from scratch getting to know the members of his new ward. They are encouraged to learn the names of the members, and show a genuine interest in them when they first arrive.
Role-playing becomes a valuable way to learn how to become better missionaries.
The missionaries practice with each other how to best present the teaching calendar.
5 points of the Baptismal Calendar
- Present it in the first or second lesson
- Review it at each meeting
- Help them understand the purpose of the calendar
- Be flexible
- Keep the spirit involved
President Brubaker played the part of investigator as Elder Rayfield and Elder Mueller
presented the teaching calendar to him.
Excited, enthusiastic, happy missionaries to be in the best mission in the world!
Happy Day!
All old cell phones are retired, and new ones given to each companionship!

"But you will teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness;
ye will teach them to love one another, and to serve one another."

Mosiah 4:15

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Zone Conference in Rotterdam North Building

The Rotterdam North Chapel has been under an extensive remodel for the past year. It is finally finished. We were able to have our Zone Conference in this beautiful building. The theme of our Zone Conference was teaching with Faith. Missionaries were taught by President Brubaker the importance of a positive attitude. He told them that We get to set the temperature of our own oven. We can increase our faith - or our negativity. I choose happiness. Excitement. Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do." (John Wooden)
- Missionaries with a clear vision of successfully bringing others unto Christ through Baptism, usually do.
- Lay out clearly the teaching/conversion process so that investigators can envision it.
- Power of faith. Alma 32. Moroni 7:42-48.

The assistants taught and role-played inviting investigators to commit to a teaching calendar.
Then the missionaries were divided up into groups of 4 and took turns presenting a teaching
calendar to each other. President Brubaker feels that the more you practice the better skilled you become.

5 points of the Baptismal Calendar
- Present it in the first or second lesson
- Review it at each meeting
- Help them understand the purpose of the calendar
- Be flexible
- Keep the spirit involved

This is Zuster Fowler's last Zone Conference. She has been an amazing missionary,
and many missionaries have been blessed as Zuster Fowler has been their trainer.
Our newest missionaries, Elder Fullmer, Elder Brownell, Elder Crintendon, and Elder Alexander
meet together after two weeks in the mission field. They are all excited to be here, and were happy
to attend their first Zone Conference.

Our mission is blessed with 5 senior couples. They spoil our missionaries with a delicious lunch
between the morning and afternoon session.

Elder Pancratz and Elder Tibbits are able to help the work move smoothly in the office.
Sister Fowler and Sister Robbins love their African investigators.
One member offered to make authentic African dresses for them.

With the help of Elder Tibbitts, Elder Bell and President Brubaker antiquated, dilapidated,
barely functioning phones were retired. Our missionaries were enamored by their new gadget!

All new phones are up and running!