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, December 28, 2010

Barbra Looks Beautiful In White!

Barbra Khan, Den Haag, December 28, 2010

Barbra was found a couple months ago, was on vacation and then came back and we could really start teaching her. She was found by Elder Matthews and Christensen. She made the most progress we have ever seen someone make; she really tried and wanted to see changes in her life. She has really become one of the ward and has really loved the feeling of a family inside the ward. Most of her family is in Suriname so she doesn’t get to see them as much as she would like, so having another family in Den Haag is just what she needed. She really learned to love the Book of Mormon and her testimony grew with every lesson. Her biggest concern when asked to be baptized was "the water has to be hot!" and we made sure of that.

She accepted ever commandment with ease, when teaching her tithing she said" why didn’t you teach me that earlier!"

She made changes in her life for the better and has never been more happy, she told us.

She has really felt the peace and is excited to keep learning and making new friends. She gave up coffee after the first day of asking her. She was truly ready to accept the gospel and her life will be blessed forever.

She made so much progression is so little time because she was truly willing to try and to follow God. Sometimes she didn’t understand everything (like most of us) but she knew that it was from God and she knew she could trust in Him and in the modern day prophets. She now has a picture of the temple in her house and that is her new goal. (Written by Elders Bastian and Favero.)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Raymond Agvei Is Welcomed Into the Antwerp Family

Raymond is a wonderful 18 year old young man, from Ghana, who was found as he was writing rap music on a bench in the crowded city of Antwerpen, Belgium. We approached him and asked if we could sit down next to him. He was very kind and rather surprised that anyone would approach him. He had been in Belgium for only a month and a half. He slowly worked our way to testifying of the restoration and began talking about why there are so many churches on the earth today. He really wanted to learn more and even showed us where he lived that very day. We walked to his house about five minutes away and set up a return appointment due to the scarce amount time we had. Raymond would be baptized three months later. He continues to make progress in the gospel and big efforts to come to church every week.

Friday, December 24, 2010

A Christmas Never to Be Forgotten

Even though we weren't able to have any of our family come for Christmas this year, we did the next best thing! We filled our Christmas Eve table with the office elders, the assistants, Elder and Sister Tibbitts (our office couple) and their daughter, Danielle, visiting from Utah, and our new Chinese member, Libo from Leuven, Belgium.
After enjoying a traditional roast beef and mashed potatoes and gravy dinner,
the elders had a surprise for us.

I was enlisted in finding costumes for them. With a good imagination, we were able to dress everyone for their important part.
Elder Marshall explained to everyone their most important role in performing The Nativity. After a short dress rehearsal.......
Our cast:Elder Marshall and Elder Kramer-shepherds
Libo, Elder Matthews, and Elder Leash-wise men
Elder Keith-angel
Elder Brockbank-King Herod
Elder and Zuster Tibbitts-Mary and Joseph
President Brubaker-Narrator .......were ready to perform for us.

Luke II
"And lo the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not; for, behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people."
"For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord."
"And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them in to heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see the thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us."
"And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger."
"Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of Herod the King, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem ,saying....
"Where is he that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him."
"When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him."
And they said unto him, "In Bethlehem of Judea; for thus it is written by the prophet."
And lo the star, which the wise men saw in the east, went before them, until it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him; and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.
We all joined in singing, "Oh Come All Ye Faithful"
Thank you for helping make our Christmas eve one we shall never forget!

Libo was so kind to present us with a special gift.

Look what we found on Christmas morning!. Elder Kramer, Elder Leash, Elder Keith and Elder Marshall found spending the night at the mission home has it's surprises! Sinterklass knew just where to find them!

President and Zuster Brubaker had some surprises as well!
Vrolijke Kerstmis en een Gelukkig Nieuwjaar!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Today was our lucky day! Even though there were many delayed flights, Elder Cox's flight to New York looked clear!
The Brussels airport was a crazy place! Elder Cox was one of the lucky ones! We were all relieved to
find out that his flight was good to go!
We were so happy and grateful to finally say bon voyage to one of our most dedicated and focused missionaries.
He'll be home for Christmas!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Cancelled Flights......Not Good News

Monday night we found out that all flights to the United States were cancelled. It wasn't easy to tell our missionaries that they would not be going home the next day. President Brubaker was on the phone with Salt Lake travel finding alternative flights. Church travel worked tirelessly to find the best possible intinerary to get our missionares home before Christmas.

Church travel were able to do their magic. All missionaries had new itineraries and all would be flying out of Amsterdam on the 23rd of December. Elder Cox was the only one flying out of
Brussels on the 22nd of December. We shared a hot breakfast together, and missionaries got the opportunity to go back in the field for two days in Amsterdam.

The missionaries were all good sports, and waited patiently for the Tibbitts to come and pick them up and take them to Amsterdam.

Bon Voyage........fingers are crossed!!!

Monday, December 20, 2010


It was a beautiful winter wonderland when we woke up. Record breaking levels of snow in Belgium and the Netherlands decided to come at an unfortunate time for our missionaries.
We had a crew of energetic snow removal snowed-in missionaries! They even shoveled our neighbors LONG driveway! They were so appreciative of their help!
Every possible tool that could possibly be helpful in removing snow was used!
Zuster Fritz and I were successful as we had a little adventure visiting the American Embassy
procurring an emergency passport!
We celebrated by going to the Grand Place one last time, replacing a stolen hat, and warming our
hands and tummies with the best Belgium hot chocolate!
Elder and Sister Tibbitts extended our office Monday lunch to the stranded missionaries. We are trying to make the most of the extra time we have with these great missionaries!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Ben Wolda Feels the Peace the Gospel Brings

Ben Wolda, Den Haag, Dec. 18, 2010

Ben Wolda is a selfless, loving Dutchman. He was found on the street one day waiting for another investigator to show up to their home and just talking with everyone else as they passed on by! Ben first came in contact with the church, however, through a few aunts of his who were members of the church! One in Salt Lake City and one here in the Netherlands. Both of them have now passed on but their examples left an impression that would linger on. Ben had observed that the gospel brought peace and happiness, and he felt it himself as he then made the progression toward baptism! (Written by Elder Favero.)

Can We Sleep 23 Missionaries in the Mission Home?

Twelve departing missionaries, one for each of the 12 days of Christmas, were waiting patiently to be interviewed and come to the mission home for their last night of their mission. We already had nine new missionaries that couldn't leave due to the record amounts of snow we were receiving! The new missionaries were more than willing to be put to bed. Evelyn, our amazing housekeeper started her magic by finding beds and bedding for everyone. There was plenty of room at this inn.
President Brubaker started his interviews with the patiently waiting missionaries.
Zuster Fritz finally was rescued from the Brussels train station. Unfortunately her purse was stolen with her passports and her priceless mission journals. Sister Pierson tried to consoles her. We all felt terrible about this unfortunate incident.
After a special dinner, we sang Christmas carols, and the missionaries shared their most
memorable memories and testimonies.
The hour was late, but we felt a strong desire to not let this evening end. Each missionary bore a strong witness
and testimony of the truthfulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and their gratitude for the many blessings that had
come into their lives from serving a mission.
Even though Elder deBruijn, Elder Christensen and Elder Hansen volunteered to sleep on the couches,
they came up with a better idea......... a creative fort!
Such a ressemblance! The next morning Brother Herman DeBruijn came to the mission home to pick up his son. I love this picture as Sister Pierson portrays what we were all feeling as these two were reunited once again.
The adventure begins........Elder Pratt, Elder Hansen, and Elder Christensen were some of the lucky ones to make their connection (the internet told us the flight had been delayed). Elder and Sister Langeveld and Sister Pierson were through security by the time I got back to them! President Brubaker and I were running from place to place trying our best to all the missionaries taken care of. Parting is sooooo very hard!
The other 5 missionaries weren't so lucky. Their flight had been cancelled due to a closed airport in London. British Airways was in a real pickle! Due to more snow than they had ever had in 100 years in London, all flights were cancelled. Unfortunately, their flights were scheduled to fly through London.
The travel department in Salt Lake City was awakened by President Brubaker to ask for help with our dilemna.
By the time the missionaries reached the agent, all their flights had already been arranged by Salt Lake!

Sister Fritz and I found a smoothie kiosk, to help smooth out the frustrations our missionaries were feeling. Flights were changed for the 21st of December, three days away!

We tried to console them, and that evening we treated the missionaries to a well deserved Chinese dinner.
To be continued.........