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, November 30, 2010

Christmas is Coming!

Our Christmas Zone Conferences are just around the corner! The office elders and Sister Tibbits took on the big job of wrapping gifts for the missionaries. What a BIG job!
Elder Marshall, Elder Conder, and Elder Keith!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Chinese Electrical Engineer Searches the Internet and Finds the Truth

Libo Li, Leuven, Nov 28, 2010

Libo was not found by the missionaries, he found us. After researching religion online for several months, he came across Sister Brubaker’s mission blog and sent her an email. In his own words, Li asked if it would be possible to “join the mormon family” in Belgium or if he would have to wait until returning to his homeland in China. That was an easy question to answer. Four weeks later he was baptized. He believes strongly in God and Jesus Christ as his redeemer and is happy to live the word of wisdom. The gospel for him gives the guidance and direction that he has been seeking for his future. One of the reasons why Li was baptized so fast was because there wasn’t much left to teach him. He had already studied out many of the commandments on his own. He also noticed that there were many negative things written about the church; however, after viewing Sister Brubaker’s blog he was impressed by the appearance of happy, nicely dressed men and women who were definitely not polygamists, so he knew that all of the bad rumors must have been false. (Written by Elder Conder)

The Young Adults Welcome Elaine with Open Arms

Elaine Liyi, Apeldoorn, Nov. 28, 2010

Elder Verwey and I just did a lookup of a former investigator when we saw this Chinese girl with groceries walking in the distance. She was really easy to spot because she was wearing a bright orange shirt. So we pulled a little sprint and caught up to her. She didn't have any time to really talk to us so we invited her to come to the English class in the Jovo center, gave her the card and went our way. Two weeks later a member walks into Dutch class, followed by a Chinese girl. She explained she found her on the street looking for the Jovo Center with the card in her hand. We made an appointment with Elaine and she came to church that first Sunday. She has been coming to all the activities ever since. Hasn't missed a day of Church and has been way solid throughout the entire teaching process. It doesn't get a lot more golden than that. (Written by Elder De Bruijn)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Beautiful Family is Baptized in Ghent, Belgium

Nda Family, Gent, November 27, 2010

Elder Sanford and Elder Hanks asked a recent convert to pray about someone that she could share the gospel with. She gave the Nda family. They started teaching them, and they were solid. They all got baptized. They started teaching them in August and were baptized 3 months later. Elder Zeeman’s favorite is Priscilla who is two years old. They are really committed to their decision to be baptized. This is the future bishop of Gent. The missionaries knew that they would be baptized from the very start. They have already referred another family to be taught by the missionaries. Elder Zeeman felt like the mother was a loving motherly relief society member who gave him many large smiles when he walked in the door. They accepted commitments very easily. (Written by Elder Thompson and Zeeman.)

Bicycle Finding Really Works

Joseph Elijah, Den Haag, Nov. 27, 2010

Joseph was found one day as he was riding along on his bike, the missionaries smiled and waved to him and he stopped right away to talk! He told us later that he knew who we were, he had been to our church a few times before in Germany, and he had given his number only as a joke. But then during the first lesson he really heard and listened to the message of the Restoration and just felt that he needed to read the Book of Mormon. Joseph is a man of very great faith, despite many attempts from friends and acquaintances to sway him from being baptized and joining the church, he knew that the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith were truly from our Heavenly Father and progressed quickly to baptism. (Written by Elder Favero)

Basri Tefik Yusuf (Yunuz), Den Haag, Nov 27, 2010

Yunuz was found by the Sisters in Den Haag. He had little Christian background in the beginning but believed in God. Yunuz is a great example of humility and meekness. He told us he could feel the peace and love of God so much stronger in his life when he went to church, the Young Adult Center (Jovo Centrum), and read in the Book of Mormon. He is sensitive for the spirit and teachable which helped him to experiment upon the word, read in the Book of Mormon, pray, gain a strong testimony and then take the step of baptism. (Written by Elder Favero.)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

An Inspirational Thanksgiving Not to Be Forgotten

We had a very unique and memorable Thanksgiving. Every year Americans in Holland come together to celebrate Thanksgiving together in the Pieters church in Leiden, Holland.
The history of the Netherlands and the USA come together in Leiden where the Pilgrims lived from 1609-1620. They cam from England searching for religious freedom. They found life to be free and tolerant. They lived in Holland for 11 years. These are the same people who eventually boarded the Mayflower in September 16, 1620.
We were greeted at the door by these two young pilgrims.
We met our District Leaders of our mission in Leiden at the PietersKerk, for a wonderful non-demoninational Thanksgiving Day service to commemorate the 401st Anniversary of the arrival of the Pilgrims in Leiden, the Netherlands, with about 200 other Americans, in this beautiful centuries old church in a very quaint part of town

Just imagine being in the same church where over 400 years ago, the pilgrims who came to Plymouth on the Mayflower lived and worshipped here. We felt a feeling of belonging to those who have gone before us, and paved the way so that we can enjoy the freedoms that we have today.
We were the benefactors of a very uplifting and inspiring program. I felt very proud to be an American as we pledged allegiance to the flag of the United States of America. It was a pleasure for me to learn about the ties that we had to Holland. We sang one of my favorite Dutch Hymns.

We gather together to ask the Lord's blessings
He chastens and hastens His will to make known;
the wicked oppressing now cease from distressing,
Sing praises to His name he forgets not His own
An American family from Wassanaar Branch are immersing themselves in the Dutch culture.

Sister Tibitts and I had a Thanksgiving surprise waiting for the missionaries at the Leiden Ward. We all went to our church after and Sister Tibbitts and I served them Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings. They were all delighted! They were all like stuffed birds after, but dad was able to keep them awake as he trained them for two hours. They are the most important teachers in our mission, and it was wonderful to be with them on Thanksgiving day!
They were all like stuffed birds after, but President Brubaker was able to keep them awake as he trained them for two hours. They are the most important teachers in our mission, and it was wonderful to be with them on Thanksgiving day!

"Leadership is communicating to people
their worth and potential so clearly
that they are inspired to
see it in themselves."


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sinterklaas Arrives in Holland

President Brubaker and I were just walking down the streets of the Hague Saturday afternoon, when we wondered what all the commotion was about! We saw this sight and weren't sure why their were so many policemen?
We soon discovered we were in for a real treat!
This was the cutest miniature donkey I have ever seen! In his bags were treats for the children.
Sinterklaas had arrived in The Hague!

Sinterklaas has a long red cape, wears a traditional white bishop's robe and red mitre, and holds a crosier, a long gold-coloured staff with a fancy curled top. He carries a big book that tells whether each individual child has been good or naughty in the past year. He traditionally rides a white or gray horse.
Sinterklaas traditionally arrives in the Netherlands each year in mid-November (usually on a Saturday) by steamboat from Spain. Some suggest that gifts associated with the holy man, such as mandarin oranges, led to the misconception that he must have been from Spain. He parades through the streets on his gray horse Amerigo, welcomed by cheering and singing children.[

Sinterklaas is assisted by many mischievous helpers with black faces and colourful Moorish dresses, dating back two centuries. These helpers are called 'Zwarte Pieten' (Black Petes). Sinterklaas and his Black Pete usually carry a bag which contains candy for nice children and aroe, a chimney sweep's broom made of willow branches, used to spank naughty children.Some of the older Sinterklaas songs make mention of naughty children being put in the bag and being taken back to Spain. They also climb down chimneys to fill the children's shoes with presents, this causes their skin to be black.
One of the oldest department stores in the Netherlands, Bijenkorf added a vintage horse drawn carriage to the parade!
Dating back to 1870, De Bijenkorf has a rich 140 year history. It originally sold buttons and sewing supplies, and is one of the most popular department stores in the Netherlands.
We love the traditions of this country!
Sinterklaas found Elder DeMeester in Amsterdam!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving with Our Cherished Seniors

We got a jump start on Thanksgiving with the senior couples in our mission! On Tuesday before Thanksgiving all of our senior couples came from all areas of Holland to meet at the mission home.
Evelyn was a huge help to me preparing for this day of thanks. Each couple brought something for a wonderful Thanksgiving feast.
The Tibbits made a delicious appetizer. We alll wanted her recipe for Jalapeno Cranberry Salsa!

The turkey was cooked to perfection, thanks to brand new ovens in the mission home, and a little help from Martha Stewart.

President Brubaker made the stuffing and made the turkey look extra nice. Thanks to Elder and Sister Tibbitts for contributing the turkey found at the military base.

All four of these couples are serving throughout Holland assigned to the Centers for Young Adults.
L-R Elder and Sister Anderson-Rotterdam, Elder and Sister Pancratz-Amsterdam, Elder and Sister Lnngeveld-Rotterdam
Bottom Elder and Zuster Hofman-Deventer

Sister Tibbitts wrote:
The food was great and after dinner we all sat around the table and just shared things we were grateful for or any thoughts we felt like sharing. There were lots of cool stories told of ancestors who had joined the church and led the way for their families, etc. I talked about how close I’d been feeling to Dad and how much he loved missionary work and how he came to visit me on my first mission, wrote letters to my investigators, etc, and how I knew he would be doing that now if he were still around. It was a really nice afternoon with lots of heartfelt thoughts. Pres Brubaker’s comment was how we would always remember this Thanksgiving with each other – it’s so different than from being home with family, but it’s good. He’s right.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Juliet Ezomo Finds Peace and Happiness in the Gospel

Juliet Ezomo, St. Niklaas, Nov 21, 2010

Juliet began investigating the church about one year ago when she was referred by a recently baptized member in Antwerpen. Around the same time Juliet’s mother passed away, she began to question her purpose here on this Earth. Through her difficult times she learned to know her Savior Jesus Christ and also came into contact with the missionaries. She would meet off and on with them but also admitted to avoiding them from time to time. Around the baptism of Jackson Vijarona, Juliet began to really to catch fire and committed herself to listening to the message the missionaries brought. She began to find new strength and happiness through reading the Book of Mormon and learning about her divine potential as a daughter of God. Juliet has now been baptized and really wants to be an example to her family and help them learn to love the gospel as she does. (Written by Elder Sanford)

Sunny and Saskia Gather Sunshine Wherever They Go

President Brubaker met with the Stake Presidents and Elder Sterri, who is our area authority of our mission today in the Hague for the quarterly meeting. I went to church with Elder and Sister Tibbitts in Antwerp.. We were invited to dinner after the baptism in Sinte Nikklaas. Sonny Gulati is the ward mission leader. He is from India and is one of the most dedicated mission leaders! He is so eager to help with missionary work. We were treated like kings and queens in their sweet, inviting home.

We were welcomed by the entire Gulati family.
Sonny is from India and Saskia is from Belgium. The missionaries found Sonny on the street as they were riding their bikes. Sonny told us that he was a little nervous as one missionary came from behind and the other went in front of him. He felt surrounded, but felt relieved when he saw one of their tags with the name of Jesus Christ on it. Saskia was at church when he came for the first time. After he joined the church, he was given his first calling to be her home teacher! The rest is history!

Sonny treated us to a delicious authentic Indian dinner! We enjoyed their wonderful hospitality and their complete devotion to each other and to the church.
Chandra, their 10- year old daughter brings so much joy into their home. She is very creative and showed us her art work. There is an angel Moroni on top of the box. We felt that their home is like the temple. The Gulati family is truly a happy family!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Big Smiles in Hengelo

Herbert Wekking, Hengelo, Nov. 20, 2010

Br Wekking has been investigating the church for a little over a year. His wife is a member from Mexico and she has been a great influence for him. In the beginning he wasn't really interested but listened because he knew it made his wife happy. After they returned from summer vacation Brother Wekking began taking things a little more seriously, but was still very skeptical. However, he had been coming to church every week for a year, was reading and was praying together with his wife, so we knew that he had some sort of testimony, but he didn't think he did. We decided that we would go through the baptismal interview questions with him to see where he was sitting. The Elders had done this several months earlier and most of his answers were very unsure and shaky, this time around it was a very simple "Ja". We asked him if he could have said that a year ago. At this point he realized that he hadn't been able to do that and he did indeed have a testimony. Now with everybody smiling we planned his baptism for two weeks from that Saturday. He and his wife are still smiling. (Written by Elders Fritzler and Mueller)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Esmee van den Broek is the Newest Member in Den Bosch

Esmee van den Broek, Den Bosch, Nov. 7, 2010

Esmee van den Broek is an awesome 11 year old girl. She is extremely lively and talkative and excited. Her mother was baptized about 20 years ago in Norway. She then moved to the Netherlands, and got married to a Dutch man. They had two children, Daniel and Esmee. When Daniel turned 8 years old, his father didn't want him to be baptized, he felt that he was too young. Once Daniel turned 13, his father gave permission for him to be baptized. So, the same pattern followed with Esmee. She had to wait about 3 years to be baptized. Finally, she asked her father if she could be baptized, and he gave her permission, and we began teaching. We taught her for a period of about two months. You couldn't really call it teaching. She knew everything before we ever taught her. It was fun to see her get more and more excited about her baptismal service as it drew closer. She was baptized on Sunday November 7th 2010 in Utrecht. The baptismal service went great. (Written by Elder Christensen)

Ramses Everts is Baptized in Eindhoven

Ramses Everts, Eindhoven, Nov. 19, 2010

Ramses Everts was found in the centrum after a consecrated hour in which the missionaries did a chalk drawing of the Plan of Salvation. The missionary got his number and address and went to visit shortly thereafter. The first lesson was only ok but after a baptismal date and one time in the church he was hooked. He now talks about how the church seems, to him, to be the atmosphere of heaven and he loves to just walk around and look at the pictures on the walls. Ramses struggled for a really long time with quitting smoking and marijuana but he has now been clean for some time and is solid. He loves church, comes with public transportation, and often comes an hour early to make sure that he isn't late. Ramses is amazing and it was great to see him get baptized. (Written by Elder Wilcken)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Adriana Bulder is the Newest Member in Kortrijk

Adriana Bulder, Kortrijk, Nov. 14, 2010

Adiana is 11 year old. She’s the niece of the Kortrijk Branch President. Elder Van Doesburg and Johnson started teaching her about four months ago. She was referred to the missionaries by Branch President Leman. She was taught at her grandparent’s house, who is Luke Leman, the Branch President in Brugge. They were present for all her lessons. It was a priviledge to teach her. We were impressed with how she was always positive, even though it was at the end of a long school day. The Lemans family has been very helpful and supportive throughout the teaching process. Her baptism was very nice and many family members were there. She was very excited about being baptized.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Reality Check......Our First Missionariy Goes Home!

Another amazing group of missionaries came to the mission home for the last night of their mission. We made the most of the evening. I asked Elder Relitz what was his favorite food, so we had Mexican! We feel so close to these missionaries as we have seen them grow, change and grow some more!

Zuster Robbins and Zuster Driggs have brought so much joy to our mission! Zuster Driggs is our first missionary that we have had her entire mission! How did that happen?!?
Here is this precious group of missionaries that we will miss so much!
Elder Lundgren, Elder Relitz, and Elder Wood, Zuster Driggs and Zuster Robbins.
The Netherlands and Belgium has a way of becoming a part of you, and we all will never be the same.
Zuster Robbins donated her violin to the mission! What a blessing this will be to those future missionaries who come that have this talent. We already have a Zuster in mind that will be so excited! Zuster Robbins blessed our mission with her beautiful talent as she had several occasion to share her musical talents with the ward and our Zone conferences.
Elder Wood never had a down day on his mission, or at least he never showed it! His enthusiasm for the work spread throughout the mission, especially in the cities where he served!
He shares his enthusiasm of the Gospel with everyone he meets!
God be with you 'til we meet again! We love you!