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!!!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

These Smiles Are Contagious!

We were really impressed with this new group of missionaries we received straight from the MTC in Provo, Utah! Everyone of them were so excited to finally arrive in the best mission in the world! We could instantly feel of their goodness, and desires to serve God.
After getting all leagalized by Elder Marshall and Elder Conder at the mission office, we fed them their first
home-cooked meal in months!
After a very needed nap, we all loaded up and went to the dedication sight in Tervuren Park. It was a crisp, beautfiul fall day and we loved sharing this sacred place where our mission was dedicated to missionary work in 1998 by Jeffrey R. Holland.
We then drove to the Grand Place in Brussels. We let them loose to contact and talk to people from all over the world! Just fresh out of the MTC they experienced what it is like to be bold, and just walk up to a complete stranger and start a conversation.
We shared our stories with one another over dinner in a small restaurant. Many nationalites were contacted. anywhere from Japan, United States, China, Egypt, Uruguay, France, Belgium, Brazil and more. Can you imagine how many languages we needed to speak? These young missionaries loved talking to people from all walks of life and faith about the restored Gospel.
A visit to Brussels wouldn't be complete without a True Authentic Belgium Waffle!
We always look forward to coming back to the mission home and anticipating with the missionaries where they will be serving and who their trainer will be.
Elder Bjork will serve in Amersfoort and his trainer is Elder Lundgren
Elder Benson will serve in the Hague and his trainer is Elder Christensen.
Zuster Ence will go to Gouda and her trainer will be Zuster Robbins
Elder Nielsen will serve in Hereveen and his trainer will be Elder Adams.
Zuster Perry will serve in Haarlem and will have Zuster Reber and Zuster Garvin as her trainers.
Zuster Ence and Zuster Perry are so lovable! They will do just fine, no worries with these two!
Missionaries ready to share the message of the restored Gospel!
Get Ready! Get Set! Go!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Miracles in Gouda

Diane Karamera, Gouda, September 26, 2010

Diane and her family were first introduced to the gospel when her father Daniel was referred to the missionaries by a friend. A few years before, they had fled the Congo, and Daniel came alone to the Netherlands seeking a better life for his family. He was baptized in December 2009 into the Gouda ward. The members later collected the funds to have Diane, her sister, and her mother flown in from Africa to the Netherlands. Through a series of miracles, they quickly received their green cards and a new home, and were reunited with Daniel this past August. Diane told us during our first lesson with her that she wanted to be baptized in order to obey God. She was the epitome of the “golden investigator”. The day after she committed to living the Word of Wisdom, she was offered drugs. She told the kid that it was dumb to smoke and she never would. What a rock star! She was baptized and confirmed a member of the church on September 26, 2010. (Written by Zusters Robbins and DeGroot)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Gospel Brings Big Smiles

Franz Torres, Antwerpen, September 25, 201

Franz Torres is originally from Cuba, but has lived in Belgium for seven years. Until several years ago he was never very religious. While he was living in Brussels he was invited by a friend to attend church. There he began to study about Christ and came to find a new faith. He then moved to Antwerpen where Elder Christensen and I (Elder Wells) met him on the street one Sunday evening. They invited him to read in the Book of Mormon, he readily agreed. Elder Relitz and I then took Franz on a church tour; he expressed the desire to progress and grow in his faith, something he did not find in his other church. We promised him that we would help him learn as much as we could. He began an impressive study of the Book of Mormon. He would often take notes, and always pulled out the most important parts of the chapters he read.

Three times a week Franz would take a 45 minute tram ride to meet with us in the church. Week after week, with Br. Verheyen or Br. Nuyens sitting by we would study the Gospel with Franz. He never lost his desire of dedication to learn, despite several difficulties he encountered he continued on and never gave up. When the time came for his baptism he was nervous but he knew he was ready. As he was baptized he rose from the water with a huge smile. What joy he felt!! His prayers turned to thanking the Lord for the truthfulness of the restoration and asking for strength to be able to share it with others. (Written by Elder Wells)

Lilly Salome is Baptized in Alkmaar

Lilly Salome, Alkmaar, September 25, 2010

Lilly was in contact with the church 18 years ago in Aruba when she married an inactive member of the church. Her mother-in-law was extremely active and did her best to keep them on the path of coming to church. When they moved to Rotterdam they came in contact with the sister missionaries and began receiving visits from her. They moved in 2010 to Zwaag and then began receiving visits from the Elders in Alkmaar. They came at a very hard time for their family and she would feel peace that came from the church and the missionaries and began to seriously investigate what that feeling was. During a lesson about 6 months later she asked the missionaries, “When are you going to baptize me?” Then in spite of vacation and multiple other delays, Lillian Salome was baptized on the 25th of September and confirmed the next day. (Written by Elder Hymas)

Friday, September 24, 2010

1st Day of Mission Tour with Elder Sterri

Elder Eivend Sterri came from Norway to train our missionaries for two days. He taught missionaries about Faith and Hope. We all gained so much and we are excited as a mission to implement what we were taught.

Jackson Vijarona Joins the Church in St,. Niklaas

Jackson Vijarona, Sint Niklaas, Sept. 24, 2010

We received a telephone call from a member in Gent that had a friend that was, “hungry for God.” We looked Jackson up that first day and the rest is history. Jackson never missed a day of church, kept all of his commitments, even participating in the new young adult center in Antwerpen. Jackson was soon found in good favor with the ward members, due in large part to the fact that many of them knew him from his days on a popular cycling television program named, “Allez Allez Zimbabwe”, in which Jackson was a cast member for three years.

The Blessings Just Keep Coming-Elder Eivend Sterri

The blessings just keep coming! Elder Eivend Sterri, the Europe area authority over our mission came from Norway to train our missionaries. Before Zone Conference, he instructed our missionaries who have leadership positions early in the morning. It only took a few seconds when the mantle of his calling was very apparent and we learned together how to be better missionaries.

President Brubaker reviewed with them some of the main points that we learned with
the visiting authorities last week.

Together, with the assistants the missionaries brain-stormed together how we can be more effective in our teaching to turn more baptismal dates into baptisms.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Mission Tour with Elder Eivend Sterri with Apeldoorn and Antwerp Zones

Elder Sterri blessed the lives of our missionaries as he came from Norway to spend two days with us, touring the mission and training our missionaries in a special zone conference. We learned that we have many things in common, one of which is cross-country skiing!
Brother DeJong was busy in the kitchen preparing lunch for the masses. What would we do without you Brother DeJong? He is always helping our missionaries and providing delicious Asian food for us all.
The missionaries feel incredibly blessed when Brother DeJong is in the kitchen!
What wonderful dish will he come up with next time?
Missionaries engaged in learning
Practice Makes Perfect!

Zuster Fritz and Zuster Hobein are so involved in the miracles that are happening in Antwerp!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

We Will Never Forget You!

Elder Knutson is one of those missionaries when he speaks of his love for the Book of Mormon, it penetrates your heart so deeply, and I will never forget that look on his face as he bore testimony of it's truthfulness. When Elder Knutson found out that there was a possibility he would have to go home early due to some health challenges, he decided that he wanted to read the Book of Mormon before he went home. He shared his testimony the night before he left. Our mission will miss his catching smile, his warm handshake and the love he has for the Gospel. Elder Knutson is a bold missionary, and was excited to share the Gospel with everyone. As he told us, he will continue to be a missionary, the only difference is he won't have a plaque on.
Elder von Duesburg and Elder Knutson were pleased to have a baptism in Heerlen his last Sunday. Elder Owens, our mission secretary didnt' complain too much when he was invited to the Mission home for a farewell dinner. He is always willing to do whatever President Brubaker asks of him.
We love you, and will never forget you!

This quote fits Elder Knutson perfectly:
"I believe there is nothing in all the world that can compare with the joy that a man feels when he realizes that he has been the instrument in the hands of the living God of reaching some honest heart, inspiring in it a love of God and the desire to serve Him."
Heber J. Grant -

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Memorable Senior Moment in Dordrecht

We had a marvelous time with our senior couples in our mission. We found a half way point where we could all meet without too much traveling. President Brubaker and I came upon this wonderful place in Dordrecht, the Netherlands to meet. Villa Augustus is quite a place. In 2003 an enterprising couple decided to turn the turn of the century water tower and land into a hotel and restaurant. They had a vision of this beautiful water tower being put to new use.

These are the gardens surrounding the water tower. On the water side you have beautiful formal gardens, and on the other side, on the same spot where once the water basins for Dordrecht's water tower were located, was created a garden. A garden that supplies food for the restaurant, and a feast for the eye and palette. A garden that inspires the cook and that in turn is inspired by the kitchen-the cook and the gardener, the gardener and the cook.
We were the happy recipients of all this imagination and creativity!
Elder and Zuster Langeveld brought their daughter along who was visiting. The Langevelds love being the Young Adult couple in Rotterdam, and the young adults love them! How can their time of service be almost over?
These are the "new kids" on the block! Elder and Zuster Anderson arrived this morning! They are so excited to be here, and will be coached by our seasoned Langevelds on how the Yovo Center works in Rotterdam. Welcome!
Elder and Zuster Tibbitts get the award for our most "valuable player."
They keep us all straight at the office, and plan nice events like this!
Elder and Zuster Salden were blessed to have Elder Salden's sister from England come and visit before they go home next week. We thought it very appropriate to get together one last time before they go home. How can we ever thank you for the difference you have made in our mission. We will miss them so much. The day is always "fine as frog's hair" to Elder Salden, no matter the challenge!

It was a delight for me to sit next to Elder and Zuster Hofman, who are in charge of the Young Adult Center in Deventer. These two opened the center in the restored old post office. They love working with the young adults, and I enjoyed immensely catching up on all their miracle stories that a center brings.
(Picture to follow-Sorry Elder and Sister Pancratz, your picture didn't turn out.)

President Brubaker and I feel like we hit the jackpot!!! All of our senior young couples are about as perfect as they come! Elder and Sister Pancratz paved the way for us when we arrived. They spent the first 11 months of their mission getting things organized at the office and taking care of closing apartments, as our mission was down-sized. They were so patient waiting to move to Holland. They are now living in Amsterdam and are starting a Young Adult Center. Anytime we call, day or night we are greeted sincerely, "Hello President, what can we do for you today?"

These senior missionaries are the "Garden" in our lives. We feel uplifted and humbled at the same time as we have the honor and privilege of working side by side with some of the choicest people the world has to offer.