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, October 31, 2010

Blessings in Leeuwarden

It was well worth the trek all the way to Leeuwarden on Sunday! A slip up on our part, we were reminded that we were speaking in church on Sunday! We were greeted by this happy group of leaders and missionaries! We had a memorable day with wonderful members in Leeuwarden.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

An Inspiration Found on My Camera

And now, my sons, I speak unto you these things for your profit and learning; for there is a God, and he hath created all things, both the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are.

II Nephi 2:14

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Our Newest Missionary Comes from Hungary

We were delighted to find out that Sister Kremer from Hungary was coming early! She speaks many languages, and now will be adding one more language to her repertoire.. She speaks French, Spanish, English, Hungarian, and now Dutch!
Zuster DeGroot and Zuster Fritz welcomed Zuster Kremer in Antwerp. In the first 24 hours that they
were together they were able to teach an investigator in French! She will be a great asset to our mission!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Another Great Day in the Temple

President Brubaker and I felt doubly blessed to be able to share a 2nd day in the temple with the Rotterdam and the Antwerp Zones. It is always a challenge to fit everything in when we go to the temple. We spent the morning together doing a session, and then we all meet for lunch and training in the afternoon by President Brubaker.
It is a full day; one to never be forgotten.
I gave my camera to the sisters and had them at least get a picture of the two zones together.

Zuster Robbins has been a bright, happy, motivated, inspiring missionary!
It is hard to believe how fast the time has gone!
Missionaries from the Rotterdam and Antwerp Zone enjoyed the day immensely.
Now comes the blessings of putting into action all they learned!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Once in a "Year-Time" Experience

The Apeldoorn and the Hague Zones met in Zoetemeer at the temple, and we all experienced a unforgettable moment together as we were able to have half of our mission together. We feel so blessed to have a temple in our mission! This is a day in the life of a missionary that will never be forgotten.

We spent the afternoon in the Zootemeer Chapel for training.

Mail is always a big plus when we get together for Zone Conference.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Happy Day for Elder Relitz and Elder Brockbank

Elder Relitz had a birthday a few weeks ago, and Elder Brockbank had a birthday yesterday. Sister Tibbitts made a special birthday dessert and we had lots of celebrating at the office today.
Gelukkige verjaardag to you both!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

New Members Thriving in Leuven

We went to church in Leuven, Belgium today. Leuven is a college town, and many students are being taught
the Gospel. Elder Marshall ( not in photo) and Elder Conder are our full-time office help. They do missionary
finding and teaching after hours! They are being blessed for their dedication and obedience to teach every night.
They had a new investigator at church and Mohan and Surya were baptized just a few months ago.
Mohan is always there early to greet everyone and helps them feel loved and important.
Surya was sustained as the 1st counselor in the Elder's Quorum today.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Patrick Addo is Baptized in Den Haag

Patrick Addo, Den Haag, October 23, 2010

Patrick Addo was found in Rotterdam but given over to Den Haag seeing as that is where he lives. He is from Ghana, the fist born in his family, the first in his family to move to Europe and now the first in his family to be baptized in the church! He was super excited during his entire learning process to be able to be that example, especially as he felt of the truthfulness of it all. We were able to learn so much from him as we taught him of the Restored Gospel! (Written by Elder Robinson and Favero)

Sights Set on the Temple

Georgia van Biemen, Breda, October 23, 2010

This week we had the opportunity to witness the baptism of Sister Georgia van Biemen. Sister van Biemen is the wife of a member. They were married about 3 months ago and she was well prepared to receive the gospel into her life. Before Elder Douglass and I had our first lesson with her she had already read the Book of Mormon all the way through and also Preach My Gospel and was busy reading Gospel Principles. Her husband helped her prepare her so much and gave her the support that she needed. She amazed us in our first appointment when she pretty much taught us the first lesson. All we did was answer questions that she had, and they were many. This is the way our teaching went with her when Elder Kuttler arrived. She'd teach, we'd ask questions and answer hers, and her husband was there with her every step of the way to support her. She was baptized on October 23rd by her husband and insisted on sharing her testimony. On the 24th she was confirmed a member. Brother and Sister van Biemen now have their sights set on the Temple and our counting down the days till a year from now. They're awesome.

Written by Elder Hawkley

Friday, October 22, 2010

Mission President's Seminar in Historical Dresden

We spent four days in Dresden, Germany for the yearly Europe Area Mission President's Seminar. There were 32 mission presidents from all over Europe who came together to be taught by the Europe Area Presidency.

The city of Dresden was completely destroyed during World War II. They are in the process of restoring parts of the city.
Before the conference started, we were so excited to meet again some of the couples that we met a year ago. President and Sister Murdock are serving in the Geneva Switzerland Mission, and President and Sister Hinckley are serving in Barcelona Spain. Sister Hinckley offered to take the picture.

We received inspired council from Elder Kopischke, Elder Causse, Elder Teireira and Elder Pearson.

On the last day, we were privileged to visit the dedication sight. On 27 April 1975, on a hilltop overlooking the Elbe River between Dresden and Meissen, on a serene morning, Elder Monson blessed the land for the "advancement of the work" of the Lord Jesus Christ and His gospel and made seemingly impossible promises to the Saints held hostage by a totalitarian government, which have all come to fruition.

Brother Gunter Schutze spent time explaining to us what it was like living behind the Iron Curtain. He was the bishop of the Dresden Ward and later the Stake President of the Dresden Stake. Although the late 1960s and the early 1970s may have seemed the darkest days for the Church in the German Democratic Republic, the members themselves recall that period with great fondness—even joy. The more they were driven together from outside pressures, the closer they grew to one another, to the Church, and to the Lord. Attendance at meetings was high; home teaching and visiting teaching assignments were carried out with devotion and sincerity; members looked out for one another and helped one another; tithes and offerings were donated faithfully.

Some members remained faithful despite years of isolation. Gunter Schulze,, spent much of his time during that period finding and caring for isolated members—some in Poland, some in outlying areas of the German Democratic Republic. One of these was an elderly sister in Upper Silesia.

“We visited with her a long time,” recalls Brother Schulze. “Finally she went behind the stove and brought out a knotted stocking and began untying the knots, several knots. Then she held out her two hands like a scale and weighed money from the knotted stocking. She said, ‘This is my tithing. I have been saving it for over twenty-five years now. I knew the priesthood would come into my home again someday!’ ”

We were touched by these stories we heard. Our testimonies were strengthened. We all felt humbled and grateful for the members of the church in East Germany.

For more information about the Saints in the German Democratic Republic go to this site.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Our Daughter Rachel Visits From Philadelphia

(A late post-September 2010)
After President Brubaker finished training with the Apeldoorn Zone, we went to the Park where the Kröller-Müller Museum is located. The museum is located in the middle of a beautiful historical park.

The Kröller-Müller Museum is named after Helene Kröller-Müller (1869-1939). Helene Kröller-Müller collected almost 11,500 art objects with the help of her advisor, H.P. Bremmer. Helene Kröller dreamt of a ‘museum-home’, a dream that came true in 1938 when the Rijksmuseum Kröller-Müller opened its doors.

The rain had stopped and it was so enjoyable to ride our bikes through this beautiful park, and then visit this wonderful museum. We enjoyed the museum immensely! There were paintings by Degas, Corbet, Van gogh, Renoir, Seurat and other artists. It was the best just to be with Rachel. She enjoyed the bike ride and the museum. We rode our rented bikes back to the car, and decided to have pannekoeken! We went to our favorite place in the woods just outside of Apeldoorn. It was delicious as always.
"Someday I will find my prince charming, but my daddy will always be my king."

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Interviews Continue......

We started the week of interviews with the Antwerp District. We all met at the office. Many miracles are happening in Antwerp. Elder Marshall, our office secretary and Elder Conder, our financial secretary were busy getting papers signed for the week, so unfortunately they weren't in the picture. We would be in shambles without their constant day to day help.
On Tuesday, the Ghent District was taught by Elder Thompson. I am so impressed with the high level of teaching the missionaries receive from their District Leaders. Elder Johnson decided it would be worth it to take the challenge from President Brubaker to find two new investigators by tomorrow. In return he was the happy recipient of two extra ice cream cones!

President Brubaker and I spent a warm and memorable evening in the home of President Hans and Marianne Boom. He is the Stake President of the Antwerp Stake. Hyrum, thier youngest son is preparing to go on a mission soon. We learned so many interesting little tidbits about the country
we feel so blessed to be serving in.
Elder Sanford and Elder Cox are invited every week to have dinner with the Boom family. They are learning and finding out the best way to work with the members from the example of their stake president.
Wednesday was spent with the Breda District
We had a few minutes to discover part of the old city. There is a beautiful monument that has documented the names of the rulers and when they were in reign.
It can be very confusing driving in Holland! There are bicycle paths everywhere. Bicycles always have the right away no matter what. They also have their own set of traffic lights!
Missionaries in the Apeldoorn district had fun with this shot! Elder Ellsworth taught a lesson on "How to ask inspired questions?" After demonstrating it is really possible to teach by only asking questions, the missionaries tried doing it. It gave them the opportunity to really think of so many questions to ask, learning which questions are the best.
Thursday night we were delighted to have dinner in Groningen with my niece and her husband and family, Sarah, Hilbert, Gabriel, and Lorenzo. They are our family away from home! Gabriel is 7 years old and gave me a lesson in Dutch. I now know the names of all the lego animals in Dutch! I forgot to get a picture! (picture will come)

Great missionaries serving in the Groningen district
Friday we met the Groningen District at the church for interviews. We were privileged to meet Tim and Anna who are preparing for baptism.

Stake Conference for the Antwerp Stake was held in Brussels on Sunday. A beautiful mother and daughter were a delight to speak with after the meeting.
Five recently returned missionaries from the Antwerp Stake, spoke in Stake Conference. They have only been home for a few weeks to a few months. Every person in attendance learned how member missionary works. I was so impressed with the testimonies of these fine young men, and their powerful examples of what a mission means in the life of a young man.

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.

President Heber J. Grant

Blessings Come From Being Diligent and Not Giving Up

Joyce Rotgans, Apeldoorn, October 17, 2010

Elder Adams and I were doing a consecrated hour and nothing was working, probably one of the worst ones I have ever had. At the end of the consecrated hour somebody buzzed the door open so we walked all the way up to the top floor. We passed a door with a picture of Jesus Christ above the door so we figured we had to go back to that one. We also asked the lady that buzzed us in for a referral and she also referred us to the door with the picture of Jesus. We tried to stop by but nobody answered.

We went back probably like 6 times at different times and nobody was ever home. One day Elder Adams and Bair were on exchanges together and decided to go by. She was home and talked to them for a while and made a new appointment. She was really busy with work so it was really hard to meet regularly but after some time she was ready. Two weeks before her baptism she even found a new boyfriend in church so now it's even easy to come to church because they travel together. (Written by Elder DeBruijn)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Priscilla Reyes is Baptized in Amsterdam

Priscilla Reyes, Amsterdam, October 16, 2010

Priscilla Reyes is a wonderful woman, originally from Hong Kong. Three years ago she was given to the missionaries as a referral from her son, who had been contacted by missionaries on the street. Through Priscilla's investigation of the church, we learned that her father (now deceased) was also a member of the church! She's come so far in her faith by enduring the difficult trials she's received over the past few years. During a short time of discontinued contact with the church, Priscilla gained her testimony of the Restored Gospel. In our regular meetings, she was able to find answers to the rest of her questions and prepare for the ordinance of baptism. Her baptism was amazing! Her son, daughter in-law, husband, and grandson attended. Providing us with a few more great people to teach the Gospel! (Written by Elder Wood.)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Jerry Mohammed is Baptized in Den Bosch

Jerry Mohammed Ali, Den Bosch, May 2010

We found Jerry Mohammed Ali as he was walking and we were biking, on our way to a consecrated hour. Both Elder Mecham and I just pulled over to the side of the street and started contacting Jerry. We learned later that he had been praying for three months, asking God to send Him people from Christ's true church. He told us later that the second that he saw us, he recognized us as true servants from God. He stopped and listened to us, gave us his phone number and accepted the invitation to come to church the next day. We rode with him to church on the bus, and learned that he is from Africa and fled here four months ago. Right as he walked into the church, he recognized it as the true church, and four weeks later he was baptized.

Catarina is Baptized in Den Bosch

Catarina, Den Bosch, May 2010

Catarina was found by the missionaries in Breda, but after 4 years of on and off teaching, she moved and contact was lost. The missionaries refound her, and once again began teaching her. She is from Angola, and her native language is Portuguese, so the language barrier was a big obstacle for her and for us as the missionaries. The members proved to be the saving factor, as we had some amazing joint teaches that helped Catarina to understand through love and better Dutch. After overcoming an addiction to smoking (thanks to many prayers and help from the members) she was cleansed from sin through baptism and confirmation. The most amazing miracle was watching the light enter into her life and being through the teaching and repenting process. The Gospel brought her such an increased level of happiness and peace!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A Very Important Day in the Life of Samuel Munns

Samuel Munns, our oldest grandson was baptized today, on the 10th day, the 10th month in the year 2010!
We are so proud of you Samuel!

"The best and most beautiful things
in the world cannot be seen or even touched.
They must be felt with the
Helen Keller
Grand pére (President Brubaker) painted a special "doop klompen" for this very special day of Samuel's baptism.

Even though we are an ocean away, we felt a part of this special day in your life.


Parting is Such Sad Sorrow

I guess this day comes to every missionary sooner or later. It is time to let go and know that their families are waiting with open arms and anticipating their return. We make the very most of our last night together. Dinner was ready when they arrived!
Sister Hamblin, and Elder and Sister Salden have been a tremendous blessing to our mission.

Tot ziens! We love you!

Rachel Shares in our Mission Experiences.

Today was a great day in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands! Our daughter Rachel was able to see her dad in action as he taught the missionaries in the Apeldoorn Zone. This region of Holland reminds me most of home. It is the vacation land of the Netherlands with it's beautiful woods and bike paths to get you wherever you want to go on your vacation.
Missionaries are not sure what "vacation" means anymore! They are truly amazing, as they come eager to learn how to be better missionaries. It might seem a little strange to others, but this is the most "memorable " time of their lives as they learn more about themselves and what brings true happiness as they share the beautiful message of the Gospel.

President Brubaker had a Stake leadership meeting in the afternoon, so Rachel and I took advantage of some precious time together as we had some catching up to do! We throughly enjoyed walking through the gardens at Het Loo, the palace of the queen of Holland. Can I just put a stop on time?
"A daughter is the happy memories of the past, the joyful moments of the present,
and the hope and promise of the future."
~Author Unknown