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, January 30, 2011

Transfers Come Again

Elder Matthews and Elder Brockbank are our trusty assistants who help us immensely with transfers. Sunday night before transfers is always a long night. We all come together after fasting, for a meal at the mission home, then President Brubaker and the assistants go to the office to make some of the most important decisions . They constantly feel the Lord's hand as they make these decisions for the mission.

A Great Amount of Love in Genk, Belgium

President Brubaker and I went to church in southern Belgium to a a branch in Genk, Belgium.
Even though it is a small branch, and unfortunately we currently have no missionaries serving in Genk, we were grateful for the warm welcome we received.
The bishop has a very supportive and loving family.
The Youth are very strong in Genk, and support each other. An anxious young man awaits his mission call......papers are in, just waiting for the call to serve a mission somewhere in the world.

I found a new friend!
The Gospel can bring two strangers together and immediately form eternal bonds.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Four New Aaronic Priesthood Holders in Antwerp

President Brubaker and I were privileged to be on the stand in Antwerp as these four men stood to be sustained in Sacrament Meeting to receive the Aaronic Priesthood. This was a very special day as four new members of the Antwerpen Ward were ordained to the Aaronic Priesthood. These men were so ready and excited to have this additional blessing in their lives and to take the next step of their progression in the Gospel. The Antwerp Ward is seeing so many miracles!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Joy Comes By Sharing the Gospel

Vanessa Wijders, Almere, January 22, 2011

Vanessa Wijders came in first contact with the missionaries (Elder Mickelsen and Elder Sticht) in Almere in December of 2010 when she was invited to a lesson by her friend, Unique Terborg. Unique Terborg was only a few days from her own baptism and was very excited to share the gospel with Vanessa. Vanessa is 28 years old and was born in Suriname but has lived in Nederland for several years. She explained to the missionaries that she grew up with a Catholic background but was not a very active church goer and she had never found answers to her questions about religion. With the help of her friend Unique, the elders then began to teach her about the restoration of Jesus Christ's gospel and it was at that moment when things began to click for Vanessa. This first lesson with Vanessa can easily be considered as one of those golden lessons that missionaries dream about. For example, she told the missionaries, "this is really wierd, but it feels like I have learned about all these things somewhere... I just don’t know where though."

Her baptismal date was set at the first appointment with the elders. From there, Vanessa cruised towards baptism. She was a very diligent student of the scriptures and always possessed a contagious enthusiasm. People love being around Vanessa because of the light that she has within herself. She not only loves to have fun, but she has a sincere and burning testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

During the week leading up to her baptism, Vanessa was giddy with excitement. She kept asking the elders (now Elder Mickelsen and Elder Osmond), "Are you ready!? Im ready! Are you ready!?" Vanessa was definitely ready and she was baptized on January 22nd, 2011. Now she is preparing to enter the temple along with her friend Unique. Vanessa is already a wonderful addition to the Almere Ward and is a great example to those around her. Way to go Vanessa!

(Written by Elder Mickelsen)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Energetic Excited Missionaries Become Better Planners

We feel really blessed in our mission to receive the finest, well prepared, enthusiastic, faithful missionaries. Zuster Cranford has all of these qualities and more. She loves missionary work and wants more than anything in her life right now to serve the Lord.
Zuster Harrington and Zuster Cranford have been serving in Dordrecht, the Netherlands together. We have learned so much from these two most positive and "never give up" missionaries.
We started a wonderful week of interviews. We met with the Antwerp District today. President Brubaker interviewed each missionary while Elder Marshall taught the District about having more effective planning sessions every day. Missionaries are asked to plan at 9:00 pm every night. They get home exhausted and tired after a full busy day, and before they do anything else, they are asked to plan for 1/2 hour. That takes true dedication! And they do it!
Doctrine & Covenants 58:28

For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves.
And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward.

Elder Helvey is one of our French missionaries that we reluctantly lost last March due to the boundary changes to our mission. We knew he had great leadership capabilities the first evening we were together in the mission home. He is now serving as an assistant to President Staheli in the France Paris Mission. He was in Brussels with President Staheli for interviews, and came by to get some missionary supplies. We were so pleased to have been in the same place for a few short moments!
President Brubaker went to Ghent on Tuesday and held interviews with the Ghent District. I am so sorry but will try and get a picture of the Ghent District. Tuesday we went to Breda for interviews. Elder Conder, the district leader, inspired the missionaries to become better planners.
In the evening President Boom, the stake president in the Antwerp Stake met with President Brubaker and the zone leaders, Elder Sanford and Elder van Doesburg. We feel so privileged to get to know the stake presidents and their families. We learn so many great qualities from the Dutch people. They are very neat and tidy, and are very organized. Their windows are SO clean. They have hearts of gold and would do anything for you!
Elder Seaman and Elder Crittendon were recipients of some of this Dutch kindness. Brother and Sister McLean, members in Breda. found and furnished this brand new apartment for the Breda elders. It is beautiful! These are two very happy and blessed missionaries! After interviews, we went to their apartment and had a grand tour. President Brubaker was able to dedicate this apartment.

Thursday was spent in Rotterdam with the Rotterdam district. Elder Bair taught the missionaries about........becoming the best planners! He came so well prepared......he also made delicious fajitas for us all!
In the afternoon President Brubaker met with the stake president of the Rotterdam zone, President DeJonge and the zone leaders, Elder Robinson and Elder Owens. They discussed the goals for the Rotterdam Stake. President De Jonge is so excited about missionary work and has many creative ideas to help the work move forward.
We met the Utrecht District in Utrecht. Elder Frahm taught another inspiring lesson on......Planning. The Beckstrands are our new senior couple serving in Dordrecht. The missionaries continue to be spoiled by the Beckstrands!

Elder Beckstrand is so happy to be back serving in his beloved Holland, where he served as a young missionary.
After interviews we drove to Zwolle for a special fireside with Suhaina and her family.

We met the elders at Suhaina’s house. She is a young adult who has decided to serve a full-time mission. She is 24 years old and she and her mom are members. Her mother has 3 sisters and 3 brothers. They had so many questions about this mission that their niece has decided to serve. So Suhaina decided to have a fireside and asked President Brubaker and I to come and answer any questions they might have. We were so impressed with this family. They are from Curasao, and are so close and loving! We spent about an hour with them and President Brubaker explained what Suhaina would be doing on her mission. She has been called to the Philadelphia Pennsylvania mission. I talked to them about the role the mission president’s wife would play in her life. I told her mom not to worry. Suhaina would be well taken care of, and would have a substitute mom for the next 18 months. This was a fantastic missionary moment!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Miracles in Antwerp

(As we receive permission from the newly baptized members, baptisms will be posted on the blog-sorry for the delay)

Richard Amoah, Antwerpen, Dec 12, 2010

Richard Amoah is truly an inspiration and it was truly an honor to get to know this wonderful person. Richard was found about 3 months ago as Elder Relitz and Elder Cox were walking to catch the tram in Antwerpen. They approached him and started to talk about how well Ghana had played in the recent world cup. Richard said that he could see a particular light being exerted from them. Richard had a very strong religious background and was really for looking more in his life, and how we could really find more happiness. Through a wonderful process of learning to overcome opposition and taking steps of faith Richard was baptized on December 12. Richard has incredible faith and really inspires the people around him. He has a great understanding of the restored gospel and says that he finds great strength in the Book of Mormon. He reads 15 minutes every night before he goes to bed. (Written by Elder Brockbank)

Charles, Antwerpen, Dec 12, 2010

We met Charles on November 8, 2010 when we went to visit Christina Aidoo, a member in the Antwerpen ward. After talking for a little bit, we opened the scriptures to share a thought with them and he said,
"Before you start, I feel like I should tell you something. Last night I had a really weird dream and I woke up with a start at 4:00 this morning. I had the strongest feeling that I should read the First
Epistle of James, and I’ve been fasting all day for direction from God." Uh... hello! We began teaching him that about Joseph Smith and the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ and he loved it! Charles
was so thirsty for knowledge and soaked up everything that we taught him. Every lesson, he would tell us about what he had read in the Book of Mormon and how it related to his own life. He said that he "found
himself in the stories" while he read. He loves the Book of Mormon and would even take it to work with him in order to read during his 30 minute lunch break. Charles would commit himself during every lesson
to live the principle being taught before we would have theopportunity to extend the commitment. He was the epitome of the "golden investigator“! He was baptized on Sunday, December 12 by
Joseph Tunde, and as he came out of the water, he raised a fists inthe air and jubilated, "I did it!". He's the man! (Zuster De Groot and Zuster Fritz)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Apeldoorn and Rotterdam Zones Meet for Zone Conference

We met in Amersfoort with the Apeldoorn and the Rotterdam Zones on Friday.
President Brubaker started Zone Conference by asking the missionaries a very important question?

Why Are We Doing This?
He shared answers from the scriptures

We Believe that God exists and in the Atonement and Restoration


•I will male weak things strong Ether 12:27

• I will go on your left and right , angels D&C 84:88

We Love God and desire to please Him because He loves us

… OBEDIENCE and repentance

• I love you; love me, keep my commandments John 15: 9,10

• This is my work and glory Moses 1:39

• Feed My Lambs John 21:15

We want to become like Him and know how to return to live with Him and our loved ones for Eternity

... Scripture Study and Prayer

•This is life Eternal John 17:3

•Guidance James 1:5

•Knock D&C 4

•Fruit 1Nephi 11:21-22

•Others need what we have John 3:5
Getting Connected to the power of God

•As we exercise faith to do the work

•As we grow in desire to serve God and others

•As we obey commandments and rules and repent as needed

•As we learn to love our companion and others

•As we study consistently and pray meaningfully

Sister Brubaker talked to the missionaries about implementing Christlike attributes into our lives as taught so beautifuly in Preach My Gospel.. As we do this it will become second nature to love our companions uncondtionally.
It's Nice to Be Important
But It's More Important to be Nice.

Each missionary was given a poster for their apartment to help them remember .

Elder Andrews, Elder Jones, Elder Ellis, and Zuster Rich are welcomed with open arms.
Elder Wells helped Elder Brockbank teach when Elder Matthews suddenly got sick. Each companionship came up with a new creative way of finding. All ideas were written for all to try!
Missionaries took some time to implement what they have learned about becoming more focused and better planners.
We have some new faces in our mission. The Beckstrands and the VanKomens are our new outreach couples. The Andersens arrived several months ago. You ask a missionary what is one of the best things about a mission and they will unanimously tell you
I gathered up the sisters during lunch and we had a little special time where I could share some of my thoughts with them.
Birthdays are a BIG deal! We celebrated birthdays of missionaries that have had a birthday since we met last. The missionaries have the opportunity to say something positive for one minute each. tTen they get to pick a birthday treat out of Sister Brubaker's treat bag. This has become something that the missionaries really look forward to, and has become a big tradition in our mission. The Dutch have a wonderful birthday song that has to be sung outside of the chapel. It is full of gusto, excitement and well wishes! We feel like one big happy family!
All hands go up when one of the seniors has a birthday. A minute just isn't long enough!
Of course we have to get a funny pose before we say good-bye!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Hague and Antwerp Zones Meet for Zone Conference

Before we arrived missionaries were hustling and bustling to prepare for Zone Conference. Elder Sanford decided, no more sandwiches! Elder Sanford was busy putting the finishing touches on homemade chili. The Zone leaders are in charge of lunch for Zone Conference. They decided to try something new!
Elder Osmond, Elder Kramer, Elder Favero, and Elder Wilcken were practicing their musical number. We love it when a missionary will call and volunteer his talent and offer to use it for Zone Conference. Elder Kramer realized this would be his last Zone Conference. He wanted to have the blessing of singing one last time. They sang "Abide With Me" like angels.
This picture depicts Sister Sharp to a tee! Always positive, smiling, and a joy to have as one of our missionaries.
It has been three months since we had our last Zone Conference. Missionaries love to visit and share in their experiences since they saw each other. We were able to get everyone in their seats and prepare for this special time we had together.
Our sisters bring a powerful and pure feeling to Zone Conference. There is so much light emanating from each one of them!

Elder Bastians creative notes of Zone Conference
President Brubaker talked about how the light from a lighthouse is so focused, and allows those who are out to sea, to be guided by this light. He taught the missionaries how to be more focused. We have begun to unleash an era of greater vision.

* We have acquired new skills

* Teaching calendars and committing to baptism

* 3x30 (starting to teach with a clear program)

* Following up daily

*Asking for referrals

* Working closely with Members (TEACHING EVERY NIGHT)

* Church Tours

As we maintain the good things that we have been doing and improve our focus, the work will go forward with new power.

Sister Ence, Sister Perry and Sister Hill enjoy getting mail from home!
Missionaries form eternal bonds of friendship.
The Den Haag and Antwerp Zones

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Zone Leaders Enjoy a Day of Training

President Brubaker was very excited to share the great news at our Leadership Training Meeting on Thursday the 6th of January. The missionaries have all been working towards our goal of 150 baptisms for the year. We have seen a miracle happen in our mission over the past six months. Baptisms increased by 50% and the Zone leaders shared experiences from around the mission of missionaries working hard and guided by the spirit as many people were found taught and baptized!
President Brubaker commended the zone leaders for their inspired examples and for the unity we feel in our mission.

Elder Matthews and Elder Brockbank shared ideas of how our missionares can improve on finding. Towards the end of the year we had many people get baptized, so our finding needs to be our BIG emphasis for the next few months.
All zone leaders were engaged in a round table discussion, and decided what is most important for the mission to accomplish in 2011.
2011 is going to be the best year yet!