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, June 26, 2011

A Day Made in Heaven!

This was one of those most unforgettable days! We didn't know how it would work out with our schedule, but somehow we made it happen to attend this special day in the life of Faith. I met Faith on the day she came to the church with Victor for his baptismal interview with President Brubaker. I felt instantly connected with Faith. Zuster De Groot, Zuster Ence and I had a wonderful conversation with Faith about the blessing of the Gospel. We could feel her righteous desires to be guided by a loving Heavenly Father.

Faith Enobakhare, Antwerpen, June 26, 2011

Faith Enobakhare has a never ending desire to follow Jesus Christ. Brought to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints two years ago by a friend, Faith felt a certain peace there, but wasn't ready for a change. When she returned to the church in April for the baptismal interview of her boyfriend, Victor Imade, she remembered the feeling she had two years earlier. However, Faith also knew that choosing to be baptized was a big step and one that she wanted to be ready for. The missionaries met with her every other week, and she was willing to learn more, but didn't want to plan on a date to be baptized. Surprisingly, on the 12th of June, Faith came to church with Victor and told the sisters that she was ready to be baptized. When she found out there was a baptismal service on the 26th of June, Faith decided that was the date for her. Thanks to the help of her friends, Victor and Idowu, Faith was prepared to be baptized in the span of two weeks. Faith Enobakhare was baptized on June 26, 2011 by Victor Imade and felt like a new person. (Written by Sisters Ence and Rich)

A Miracle From Camaroon

President Brubaker was blessed to have the opportunity to interview Joseph in French for baptism. He was very humbled by the giant testimony of Joseph. The gospel has already blessed his life, and will continue to be a tender mercy from our Heavenl Father in his life.

Joseph Kaptchouang, Antwerpen, June 26, 2011

Joseph Kaptchouang is a miracle from Cameroon!! Contacted twice by Zuster Martha before she left for America, she asked her companions to keep an eye out for him. Less than twenty-four hours later, the missionaries spotted his bright red hat and immediately ran over. Excitedly, he pulled out the card with the address of the church. Once invited to church, Joseph never stopped coming. He started reading the Book of Mormon and was already in the Words of Mosiah before having an appointment with the missionaries. :) Joseph flew through the lessons, absorbing every word and concentrating on being prepared for his baptism. Joseph Kaptchouang entered the waters of baptism on June 26, 2011 and came out with an enormous smile!! (Written by Sisters Ence and Rich)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Member Missionary Work Flourishes in The Hague

We had the privilege of speaking in The Hague today! Member missionary work is really working here! These missionaries love the members. Lauren Sharp is no longer a full-time missionary, but just couldn't stay away too long. After being home for a few months, she brought her parents for a visit of the mission where she served, and then stayed for a few weeks after. She left a legacy of loving the members. She and the other missionaries, Zuster Welch, Zuster Garvin, Elder Leach, Elder Staker, Elder Bastian, and Elder Garrett also know the importance of involving the members in missionary work.
They have truly caught the vision!

(To be moved to May 21, 2011 soon.)

National Windmill Day

President Brubaker and I were driving, when we saw a windmill with a blue pennant next to it. We wondered if this was National Windmill Day!

More than 600 of Holland's 1000 windmills fly a blue pennant each year to welcome visitors on National Windmill Days. The event is a chance to visit Amsterdam's working mills, which date back to the 17th and 18th centuries.

Many millers give demonstrations of their activities during National Windmill Days, so you are in for an interactive and fun day!

Windmills come in all shapes and sizes
We never tire of coming across a beautiful windmill as we are driving.
They all have their distinct function, which we are still learning
If you dare you can climb all these steep stairs for a guided tour on this special day.
(To be moved to May 14, 2001 soon)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Ghent-Home of a Medieval Wonder

The Gravensteen is a castle in Ghent originating from the Middle Ages. The name means "castle of the count" in Dutch. Elder Alexander is so good to send me pictures of a recent P-Day visit to this medieval castle. President Brubaker encourages missionaries to learn from the culture that surrounds us.

The present castle was built in 1180 by count Philip of Alsace [2] and was modelled after the crusaders castles the count encountered while he participated in the second crusade. Before its construction, there stood a wooden castle on the same location, presumably built in the ninth century. The castle served as the seat of the Counts of Flanders until they abandoned it in the 14th century. The castle was then used as a courthouse, a prison and eventually decayed. Houses were built against the walls and even on the courtyard and the stones of the walls were used to erect other buildings. At one time it even served as a factory. At the end of the 19th century, the castle was scheduled to be demolished.

In 1885 the city of Ghent bought the castle and started a renovation project. The newly built houses were removed and the walls and dungeon were restored to their original condition.

Elder DeMeester, Elder McCarlie, Elder Alexander, and Elder Brown were glad they live in the 21st Century after seeing the museum with various torture devices (and a guillotine) that were historically used in Ghent.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Look Who's Coming To Lunch!

Justin Relitz and his family returned to the Netherlands for a tour of his mission. We loved having them come to the office for our traditional lunch. Justin was a dedicated, kind, organized missionary and always repeated the advice from his mom whenever possible.

"Find Joy in the Journey"
The more the merrier! The Tibbitts are so great! They never know who might be coming to lunch! They provide a wonderful lunch for us every Monday. This has become an anticipated day! We were so excited when we knew the Relitz family would be coming!
We had a fun time catching up on all the happenings in Justin's life. It was so rewarding to meet his parents, and his younger brother. He was blessed with a great support system from home!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Zusters in Zoetermeer are Zealous!

President Brubaker met with the four stake presidents and Elder Boom, our area authority today. They were in meetings for most of the day. I decided to be brave, and find the Zoetermeer Chapel by myself. The Zoetermeer Branch is in the middle of a shopping center, in an office building. Our GPS always doesn't quite know where to go to find the church. That is why I had to be brave! We always get lost! Zuster Wasenaar and Zuster Kremer had just be transferred to Zoetermeer and were talking in church, and I knew that was where I was supposed to be today!

I truly was blessed, and people were put in my path to help me find the church. I arrived with 5 minutes to spare! I was greeted by Zuster Wasenaar and Zuster Kremer. They both gave beautiful talks! They took turns translating for me.

These two missionaries wasted no time getting to know the members. In Sunday School and Relief Society they passed out get to know you cards for each member to fill out, and when they were available to go on joint teaches with the missionaries. They were full of excitement and love for these members!
"Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small
things proceedeth that which is great.
Behold the Lord requitreth the heart and a willing mind; and the willing and obedient shall eat the good of
the land of Zion in these last days."
D&C 64:33, 34

Culture of Kenya Ties To Gospel Principles

Jackson and Morgan Chilumba, Wassenaar Branch, June 19, 2011

This Story begins with Elder Davies and Ellsworth who had met Jackson on the street with his boys. They found out his family was from Kenya and that he was in the Netherlands for work. They had talked to him a little and he agreed to let them come by and teach them. Elders Davies & Ellsworth began teaching them. Later myself (Elder Benson) taught Jackson and Morgan. Jackson always had a great way of using Kenyan tales to relate to Gospel Principles. The Everton’s had come with us quite a few times to their house for appointments. Jackson once described the Gift of the Holy Ghost as a GPS for navigating while driving as how it guides our lives. Jackson expressed his concerns with being baptized but said he would like to be, but like the rainy season in Kenya you do not know when it comes but you continue to water your crops till it does. The Everton’s had given his family a ride to church once and since then (taking away a few Sundays) he was a church every Sunday. Morgan and Quinton were there on and off. Later Jackson asked us if we could limit our appointments to once a week. Then for a while it was difficult to meet him. Elder Seaman joined us at this time and he had got the chance to meet Jackson at Church. Then Elder Mueller and McCarlie joined in the teaching. Then Morgan had began to be more open and he shared all the scriptures he had read on his own time and many of his favorites with us. Jackson later shared his greatest desire in life was to have Eternal Life and he prays daily that the Lord will lead him to it. Then later we invited them to be baptized. They said that is what they wanted because they knew these things were true. They were very excited and knew how the Gospel would bless their family. Then they continued to prepare themselves till the day of the Baptism. (Written by Elder Benson)

Eneida Embraces her New Family

Eneida Silveira, Wassenaar Branch, June 19, 2011

Elder Davies and I (Elder Benson) had received a referral from the Bishop from Leiden (Bishop Prins) of a lady who had been trying to call the church building during the week and also had sent 2 letters to the church building. When Elder McCarlie and Mueller came to Leiden later that week we decided to give the number provided in the letter a call. Eneida answered and told us she would like us to come and begin teaching her as soon as possible. We went over that same night. She had told us she had come in contact with the church here in the Netherlands but she is originally from Brazil. She told that when she went back to Brazil with her son she met with the missionaries and that her son had actually been baptized. Unfortunately she wasn’t able to be baptized at that time and moved to the Netherlands. Several years later she had began trying to find the Church. She was always very happy to have us over. She immediately began coming to church weekly. During our appointments she explained how her life had not been easy. We explained how the Savior Jesus Christ through His Atonement made it possible that we can receive comfort and never have to be alone, because He knows how we feel. She started to become very good friends with many families in the ward and also had become well acquainted with the Tibbitts. Then after the baptismal Interview, she felt unprepared for that Sunday to be baptized (this being a Friday). We told her to pray about it and ask our Heavenly Father what should be done. We had also prayed together that night for her. The very next day Saturday at 7:00 in the morning we receive a call from Eneida asking if it was still ok if she could be baptized on Sunday because she had a dream and feels like she needs to be baptized. Then we came over that afternoon to help support her and so the spirit could strengthen her. Then that Sunday after the first meeting she was very happy and excited for her baptism. Eneida always says, “Now I have a big family.” (Written by Elder Benson)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

When We're Helping We're Happy!

Elder and Sister Beckstrand are serving in Amsterdam. They are loving being involved with the Young Adult Center. She sent me these pictures. She writes:
I thought you might enjoy seeing these pictures of the missionaries in the Amsterdam District helping the JoVo's with their Day of Service last Saturday. The apartment we were painting is being finished for an elderly sister in the Amsterdam ward. It is in a new senior citizen complex.
Zuster Tanner-When we're helping we're happy!
Elder Brockbank- And we sing as we go!
Elder Alexander and Elder Favero-For we love to be helping,
For we all love them so!
Elder Schulte- "LOVE IS THE KEY"

Friday, June 17, 2011

Zone President's Training in Apeldoorn

President Brubaker and I love the eastern part of the Netherlands. Close to Apeldoorn is a beautiful wooded region of the Netherlands. We had a little time to spare this morning, before our last Zone President's training . We pulled off the highway, and shared a moment together! The foxglove were in their prime! We had a moment to thank our Heavenly Father our gratitude for this beautiful earth!
"And I, God, saw everything that I had made, and, behold, all things which I had made were very good."
Moses 2:31
We were greeted by excited, eager to learn missionaries! We spent the day with the Apeldoorn Zone. So many great things are happening in this part of our mission. We have two amazing senior couples, both serving in the Young Adult Centers. Our missionaries love having senior couples in their zone. They give extra TLC to our missionaries!
We have missionaries that want to be their best! It is always good to find a moment to be silly, and have a good time together. We had another great training session!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Rotterdam Zone President's Training

Our third training for the week was in Rotterdam South Chapel with the Rotterdam Zone.
We found a great, excited group of missionaries ready to spend the day together.
Missionaries learn from each other as they role play and aren't afraid to take a little advice from President Brubaker, and then......try again.
Every missionary gets a turn.
Elder and Sister Everton try to be true to life investigators. They really give the missionaries a true to live experience!
Some more suggestions from President Brubaker, and then the missionaries try again!
Missionary life is the best!
You'll be in my heart....always!

The Best Kept Secret

Can you keep a secret? Don't tell anyone.......we have the best senior couples in all of the world! Can you believe it! We have eight senior couples in our mission. President Brubaker and I are trying to figure out where they get all their energy and youthfulness!?! You will never meet a more dedicated, positive, talented, energetic, happy, loving lot than they are.

We all met at the Leiden office to share and learn from one another about how the Young Adult Centers are doing in our mission. We have six centers for Young Adults in the Netherlands and Belgium. The Beckstands are in Amsterdam, the Andersons are in Rotterdam, the Bushes will be taking the place of the Hofmans in Deventer, and the van Komens are in Groningen doing double duty as the Branch President in Leeuwarden, and the senior couple helping with the Center for Young Adults in Groningen. The other centers have a ward couple assigned, in Antwerp, and the Hague. the senior couples love to be together and glean ideas from one another.

"Behold, the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind; and the willing and obedient shall eat the good of the land of Zion in these last days."
D & C 64:35
After the meeting we all went to one of the oldest homes in Leiden. In Leiden today, traces of the Pilgrims are elusive. The best place to start is the tiny Leiden American Pilgrim Museum, a fascinating restoration of a house occupied around 1610 by the soon-to-be Pilgrims. The house itself dates from 1375, but the furnishings are from the Pilgrims’ period.

The City of Leiden in The Netherlands (Holland) is a unique destination for historians and other travelers interested in the pilgrims who sailed to America in 1620. The visit to the tulip and windmill city can be especially appropriate in connection with America’s Thanksgiving Day, which is closely linked to those pilgrims.

According to the Pilgrim Hall Museum at Plymouth, MA, groups of English men, women and children left England in 1607-08 in quest of religious freedom. They were not known as pilgrims then, but rather as "Separatists" who were out of step with both the Church of England and with the Calvinist "puritans" who were simply trying to "purify" the church.

The Separatists spent 12 years in Holland before moving on to America aboard the Mayflower. Holland was more tolerant than England because it had experienced religious persecution earlier under Spanish rule.
We all enjoyed a fascinating tour of one of the homes where the Seperatists lived.

They also were in search for a life free from persecution, and being able to be free to worship.

"Their hearts were knit together in love one towards another."