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, May 29, 2011

Dutch Legacy

Text Box: 55/67/40ActualGoalat same time last yearWe were blessed with four baptisms this week Alain Gaoisens from Kortrijk. Anita from Den Haag, Hilda Wmutoni from St. Niklaas, and Nancy Eroh from Antwerpen.Dutch Legacy

It is a bit strange to be sitting in the Brussels mission home on the last chair left. The movers have come and gone. Tomorrow we will unload the moving van at the new mission home in Leidschendam. (about 15 – 20 minutes south of the mission offices in Leiden).

The mission home has been in use here for over 30 years. At least 11 mission presidents have lived here and close to a 2,000 new missionaries have spent their first night in Europe here. Each one of them has added to the culture that is alive in our mission today. We like to think of this as OUR mission but it really isn’t. Yes, it is the Lord’s mission and yet in a way it belongs to every missionary that has ever served here.

It all started in June 1841, when Elder Orson Hyde was en route to Palestine, he spent more than a week in Rotterdam. While here, he engaged in gospel discussions with a leading Jewish Rabbi.

Paul Augustus Schettler and A. Wiegers van der Woude were set apart in the spring of 1861 to preach the gospel in the Netherlands. Van der Woude, a native of Holland, had been baptized in Cardiff, Wales, in 1852. He was possibly the first Dutchman to receive the gospel. The two arrived at Rotterdam on 5 August 1861. Van der Woude traveled to his home town of Friesland where he shared the gospel with relatives and on 1 October 1861 baptized three people including two cousins. These were the first known baptisms of Dutch people in the Netherlands. Schettler traveled to Amsterdam and on 23 December 1861 baptized three people. The two missionaries concentrated their labors in Amsterdam and soon had 14 converts. Early in 1862, they organized the first branch of the Church there. In 1863, missionary work and baptisms extended to Gorinchem, Leeuwarden, Rotterdam, Werkendam, and Heukelom.

The two world wars slowed and practically stopped missionary work when all American missionaries were called home. After world war II missionaries were not allowed back into the Netherlands for many months because there was so little food in the aftermath of the war. Soon food and clothing began arriving from America to help ease the burden of the saints. When the saints’ needs were met the church supplied food to the red cross to distribute.

President David O. McKay met with Queen Juliana in the royal palace in 1953. An exchange of letters followed and the Queen accepted a specially-bound copy of the Book of Mormon from President McKay.

Official recognition of the Church was granted in August 1955, after nearly 20 years of petitioning. On 12 March 1961, the Holland Stake in The Hague was organized with J. Paul Jongkees as president. This occurred 100 years after the beginning of missionary work in the Netherlands and marked the creation of the first stake on the European continent and the first non-English-speaking stake in the Church.

As you may know this marks the 150th year after missionaries first came to the Netherlands. It took a hundred years the first stake to be formed. In just the last 50 years, 3 more stakes have been formed in our mission.

In the early years a large quantity of the converts in Holland left the country to become part of the ‘backbone’ of the Church on the American continent. Today we see many of our converts returning to Africa, China and other parts of the world where they again are acting as pioneers for the church.

So you see we share ‘our’ mission heritage with thousands of other great missionaries. Our daily challenges are not so different than those faced by them.

Belgium-Netherlands missionaries are an amazing group. You are particularly obedient and truly have a vision of your purpose to teach people to repent and be baptized into Christ’s Church. You do this work having love for your companions and the people you meet. You are putting your personal desires and needs secondary to the needs of those you love and teach.

As says the title of a book written by LeGrand Richards, a former Dutch Mission President, you truly are a part of a Marvelous Work and a Wonder.

You are in a long line of great missionaries gathering the wheat from the tares in these two countries. I would ask you to ponder the culture and heritage of our great mission today and walk with a little more spring in your step. Talk to a few more people. Be a bit more unified with your companion. Put forth a little more effort to prepare and practice your teaching skills..

Sister Brubaker and I are so grateful to be a small part of the legacy of this mission. Even more, we feel blessed to be able to work along side you wonderful missionaries, as we join past missionaries, to help share the “Greatest of all Gifts” with our brothers and sisters here in Dutch speaking Europe.

Have a great week,


President Brubaker

Nancy Eroh's Testimony Strengthens Members in Antwerp

Nancy Eroh, Antwerpen, May 29, 2011

Nancy Eroh is a miracle. We met Nancy as she was walking home from church one Sunday with her daughter, Tiffany. We were finishing up a consecrated hour, and we talked with her briefly, and got her information. We had a few lessons which went well, but due to busy schedules, we didn't have contact for a while. One day when we were in the neighborhood, we stopped by Nancy's house, and she was home. We set up an appointment for that weekend, and stopped by with a member from her home country of Nigeria. The appointment went really well, and we talked about the importance of the gospel. Nancy came to General Conference, and from then on she was a regular in the church. The teaching process went smoothly, as she accepted all of the commandments with complete faith and trust. Her testimony was solidified by her willingness to keep commitments, and dedicate her time and efforts to coming closer to Christ. She was baptized on the 29th of May, and the presence of the Spirit was overwhelming. Nancy was so excited to find the church and do everything that the Lord asks of her to become a better person. She is excited to continue to learn, and we are blessed to be able to learn from her. (Written by Elder Matthews)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Memorial Service in Margraten, the Netherlands

Today was a beautiful day to attend the Memorial Day Ceremony in Margraten, the Netherlands. This cemetary is the final resting place for 8,301 military service members and they also list 1,722 missing members.
The World War II Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial is the only American military cemetery in the Netherlands. The cemetery site has a rich historical background, lying near the famous Cologne-Boulogne highway built by the Romans and used by Caesar during his campaign in that area. The highway was also used by Charlemagne, Charles V, Napoleon, and Kaiser Wilhelm II. In May 1940, Hitler's legions advanced over the route of the old Roman highway, overwhelming the Low Countries. In September 1944, German troops once more used the highway for their withdrawal from the countries occupied for four years.
President Brubaker was honored to represent the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as he placed one of the wreaths in memorium and gratitude for those who lost their lives so we can enjoy the freedoms we have today.
Time will not dim the glory of their deeds. A day to pay tribute.
Elder and Sister Bush drove from Deventer in the North of Holland and Elder Mohrmon, and Elder Leash, who are serving in Heerlen were in attendance.
The Dutch citizens sponsor every grave and there is also a waiting list to do it.
O God
Who art the author of peace and lover of concord
Defend us thy humble servants
In all assaults of our enemies
That we surely trusting in thy defense
May not fear the power of any adversaries

A Little Sad to Say Good-Bye

We had a knock at our door well before the appointed time of 7:00 am on Friday morning the 27th of May!
The movers were here!
Frère Bonamy from France and Broeder Gouthals from the Netherlands are the Physical Facilities managers for the church. They were there bright and early to give us support and help with the move. Frère Bonamy has been in charge of the mission home in Brussels and now hands the baton over to Broeder Gouthals who has been a blessing to us as we have worked together to finish the new mission home in the Netherlands.
The Brussels mission home has been housing mission president couples and missionaries for 35 years.
There was a little bit of stuff accumulated over this period of time!
Amidst the craziness of the move, President Brubaker tried to continue to keep the missionary work moving forward!
Elder and Sister Tibbitts came to help us stay ahead of the movers.
We have loved our home away from home!
There were 5 men who spent 10 hours packing up the mission home.
Our heartstrings were pulled as beds were dismantled leaving only the memories over a thousand missionaries made this their short stay as they embarked on the best two years that only a mission can bring into the lives of these faithful, dedicated young men and women.
Au revoir Brussels

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Albert Is Converted in Wassenaar

Albert Gunawan, Wassenaar, May 22, 2011

Elder Davies and I were looking up a former investigator in a student housing area. We knocked and a young man came to the door. We asked if our former investigator was around or even still lived there. He went inside checked for us and let us know he believes she does not live there anymore. Elder Davies then proceeded to tell him who we are and why we where there. We began speaking about Jesus Christ and The Restoration. He said his name was Albert, he comes from Indonesia and he is Christian. He invited us in and said he would like to hear more about Christ. Then we began teaching him once a week. He kept reading in Book of Mormon and always praying. Finally after a Church Tour he began coming to Church. Then Elder Seaman joined us for a time which he said he had read in the Bible that we need to be baptized and said he would like to move his Baptismal Date (that we had set) to a Sunday because it was better for him. From then on he came to church on Sunday week after week. Elder Davies and Elder Seaman left but Elder Mueller and Elder McCarlie and I continued to be instruments in the Lord’s hands to guide him to baptism. Even though English was his second language the spirit is the teacher and by his own study, prayer and the spirit he knew the truth of the Restoration and what the Lord has asked him to do to receive all the blessings. In the prophetic words of Elder Davies “He’s The Man”.

(Written by Elder Benson)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Andrea is Well Prepared To Hear Message

Andrea Gaffuri, Rotterdam, May 21, 2011

On a Sunday afternoon in March we were in the outskirts of the city of Schiedam...we had made an appointment with a man we talked to the day before who had shown interest in hearing our message. My companion had told me that they had tried to make appointments with the guy in the past but he didn´t really put them on the top of his priority list. We showed up right on time and knocked on his door. No one came...we knocked and rang the bell again...NOTHING. We shrugged our shoulders and said ok let´s go...but our Father in Heaven had sent us to this neighborhood for a very special purpose this day...we turned around..saw a man walking on the other side of the street and decided...we need to talk to him. We crossed the street and he greeted us like we were long lost bet we were. He suggested that we find a bench where we could sit and talk. We explained who we were, where we come from, and what we do. He liked it...he wanted one of our cards and when he heard we had free dvds he was pumped! We made an appointment to drop the DVD off and then also give him a lesson. Flash forward a couple days...the appointment was amazing...we left with mouths gapping open thinking...where did this guy come from!!?? We both saw and witnessed a miracle in teaching Andrea. He is living proof that God has prepared people to hear his message...`and He calleth His own sheep by name, and leadeth them out...and the sheep follow Him, for they know His voice.` (Written by Elder Sanford)

(I wish I had a picture of Elder Sanford and Elder Mickelsen.
Notice Elder Brownell is the one in the picture, but Elders Sanford and Mickelsen taught him. He didn't want to choose one over the other to baptize him, so he had met E. Brownell on an exchange, and so he was the one who he had baptize him!)

Corrie Kooistra Comes With Friend That Leads To Baptism

(photo to come soon)

Corrie Kooistra, Lelystad, May 21, 2011

Corrie Kooistra is a wonderful lady that was searching for the truth. She went to many churches but always felt that it wasn’t quite what she was looking for. One day, she was talking with her friend Dorothea Knetsch, who has been a member for quite some time and is a strong member of the church, and asked if she could come along to her church. Sister Knetsch obviously said yes, and they went together. The first week, Corrie felt like it wasn’t the right church. She even said she wouldn’t come back. However, the next week, she came right back with Sister Knetsch, and the week after, and the week after, and so on. She had been coming to the church for about a year and then decided to meet with the missionaries, who at the time were the elders in Almere, Elder Mickelsen and Elder Osmond. They taught her for a few weeks and helped her progress for a month or so before Elder Schwartz and I, Elder Hanks, came to open up Lelystad. We continued to teach her, and she continued to progress. She talked about her desire to get baptized, but first had to talk to her children about it. We challenged her to do so, and a few weeks later, one beautiful church morning, she came up to us and said "21 May." It took us a second to process before we understood that that was the day she wished to be baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and become a member. We were so thrilled and so was she. It was amazing to see the light on her face as soon as she told us. About a month later, on that date, she was baptized by a Brother Theo Hoolle. The baptismal service was wonderful and she had many family and friends there to support her on her baptismal day. The next day, she was confirmed a member of the church and you could see a literal shining from her face and truly feel the happiness coming from her. She is a wonderful lady, and will be a strong member. (Written by Elder Hanks)

Amida Finds Church Miraculously

Amida Kamara, den Bosch, May 21, 2011

Two years ago Amida was investigating the church in another city of Nederland. When she moved to Den Bosch, she lost contact with the church. Two months ago Elders Frahm and Sanford contacted her on the street and set up an appointment. She found it a miracle to have found this church again, but she still wasn't sure. As the lessons progressed she wasn't sure if she should continue investigating or go back to her old church. One Sunday, she was waiting at a bus stop so she could go to church. A member of the Den Bosch Ward recognized her and offered a ride to the church. This small act of service turned out to be the miracle Amida needed to make her decision. Amida decided with Elders Frahm and Bastiaens to be baptized on 21 May, 2011. She prepared herself to be baptized on that day by fellow ward member Robert Abudulahi. This past weekend on May 21, 2011 Amida entered the waters of baptism and entered into a covenant with her loving Heavenly Father. The next day she was confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Congrats Amida! (Written by Elders Bastieans and Andrews)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Zone President's Training Ends in Apeldoorn

Our last Zone President's Training of the month was with our fantastic missionaries in Apeldoorn. Elder Waldie and Elder Wang are serving in Deventer. They are our two Chinese speaking missionaries. We have a thriving Center for Young Adults in the Apeldoorn Zone in the city of Deventer. Elder and Sister Hofman are serving in Deventer who are assigned to the center. They will soon be released and will hand over the baton to Elder and Sister Bush, whom just arrived in the Netherlands two weeks ago. The Hofmans have become so attached to these young adults and visa versa!

Many Asian students come to the center to find a safe place to share in wholesome activites with other young adults that are their age. They learn how the gospel can bring more happines into their lives.......more than they ever thought possible.
We are so blessed with truly diligent and devoted missionaries.
Sister Hofman, Elder Nielsen, Elder Fullmer and Elder Frahm all received complimentary birthday wishes from the other missionaries.
How can one zone be so blessed! The Bushes, Hofmans, and van Komens are all serving in the Apeldoorn Zone. All missionaries are all in agreement that we have the best senior couples!
We were all the recipients of another great meal served by these angel couples.
President Brubaker taught missionaries the importance of helping investigators keep commitments.
Missionaries learn that commitment is an essential part of repentance. It is the act of obligating oneself to a course of action and then diligently following through on that decision.
PMG page 195
When people are genuinely committed, they have real intent, meaning that they fully intend to do what they have committed to so. They make unwavering decision to change. they become devoted to Christ and dedicate them selves to His gospel.

D&C 20:37

And again, by way of commandment to the church concerning the manner of baptism—All those who humble themselves before God, and desire to be baptized, and come forth with broken hearts and contrite spirits, and witness before the church that they have truly repented of all their sins, and are willing to take upon them the name of Jesus Christ, having determination to serve him to the end, and truly manifest by their works that they have received of the Spirit of Christ unto the remission of their sins, shall be received by baptism into his church.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

President's Training in The Hague.

Zone President's Training continues......with the Hague Zone.

Our friends, Mike and Ruth enjoyed being a part of our training. They were a big contribution, and they loved getting to know our missionaries.
Mission life is A Okay!

We celebrated lots of birthdays!

The Beckstands provided lunch for us. Elder Seaman loves to be in the kitchen helping wherever he can.

Senior couples don't get to see each often enough!
More role-playing
The Den Haag Zone

The Windmills of Kinderdijk

It is often quoted that "God created the World, but the Dutch created the Netherlands." Kinderdijk is a first-class example of this proverb. Nineteen windmills as beacons of just that history, in an environment of land, wind and water.
Used in a system to keep the land from flooding, built in the early 1700's, this is a unique place of nature
and a historical wonder.
Mike and Ruth Stevens, our dear friends from the United States immensely enjoyed a beautiful sunshiny day in Kinder Dijk.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Brugge-A Little Gem

Elder Alexander sent some photos my way. The Gent District had a marvelous P-day in Brugge! This splendid medieval city is one of Belgium's crown jewels. In no other European city the feel and the look of medieval times are so present as here in this city close to the North Sea.

The architecture in Brugge is so beautiful. You get a taste of what it must have been like to live during the golden Renaissance Era.
The clock tower is situated in the Grote Markt. You can get a most magnificent view of the city of Brugge if you are willing and able to climb 300+ stairs to the top.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Single Adults Enjoy Time Together

President Brubaker and I had the privilege of speaking to the Single Adults at the conclusion of a week-end spent in the beautiful woods near Den Bosch. We instantly came to love these people. They were so receptive to our message of "Service Brings Happiness."

We met people from many walks of life and many countries. Two dear sisters from Paraguay were so pleased to be able to participate in a week-end of activities. The language barrier seems to dissipate when the spirit touches their hearts. We felt a special connection as we share the blessings that the Gospel brings.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

A Joyous Reunion

We love having departed missionaries come back to visit! Heather Kohler, one of our fantastic French missionaries shared her mission with her mom, sister and friend. I just wanted to tag along! The Kohlers were enjoying the beautiful weather in Brussels. We thoroughly enjoyed reminiscing precious times and memories shared with Soeur Kohler.