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!!!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Pedram Seyedi is Baptized in Groningen

Pedram Seyedi, Groningen, Sept. 30, 2011

Pedram actually called us. He has come in contact with the missionaries several times in the last year or so and was taught about a year ago. But then he had some problems with his health and lost contact with the missionaries. About 2 months ago he called us and asked for an appointment and here he is. Pedram has a contagious enthusiasm for everything but particularly the Gospel. In his reading of the Book of Mormon he quickly became certain that he had indeed found the only True Church of Christ after his many years of searching. This was the place and these were his people. Pedram as been welcomed into the ward as though he was always here and is now friends with many of the brothers and sisters of the church. What a blessing! How great is our God! (Written by Elder Bjork)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Senior Couples Make Our Mission!

Senior couples are the best!
We seem to always look for excuses to get together! The Tibbitts are just about finished with their mission, so we just had to get together one last time before they leave us for good?
What a fastastic idea! Everyone brought something, so that left us only to cook the salmon! It was a fantastic meal! Everything tasted so good, especially the homemade rolls by Sister Everton, and the fresh raspberry and black berry pies by Sister Anderson! Mmmmmm says Elder Salden!
Laughter is the best medicine.........we do that a lot in our mission!

Some people come into our lives
and quickly go.
Some stay and leave footprints on our hearts,
and we will never
ever be the same.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Den Helder Celebrates 100 Years

We had a great time in Den Helder on Sunday. President Rustige met us at the door and made us feel so welcomed! Den Helder occupies the northern most point in the North Holland Penninsula.
We were so excited to meet Sister Wassenaar's parents, who is serving in Dordrecht. We met a wonderful young man who is anxiously waiting for his mission call. President Rustige shared with us the history book of Den Helder. This is a picture of the Sunday School class of 1923! They are celebrating 100 years as a branch in North Holland!
(more pictures to follow)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Oliver Achaempong Finds the Church in Turnhout

Oliver Achaempong, Turnhout, Sept. 24, 2011

We didn't find Oliver, he found the church before we even got here to Turnhout. The members received him, welcomed him, and gave him a triple combination and a Gospel Principles book. When we got here, we found out about him on our first Sunday at a dinner appointment. The members asked us if we had met him yet, and we said no. So we made plans to look him up the next day, and it was smooth sailing from there. He is a really diligent person and kept all the commitments that we gave him. He is truly a man of his words, and he felt the Spirit, even if he didn't know what it was. He is a very humble person as well, and so willing to learn. That is what helped him to build the foundation of his faith in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. He was baptized on September 24, 2011 by Elder Bickham, and confirmed a member of the church on September 25 by Elder Bair. (Written by Elder Bair)

A Once in a Lifetime Experience

Saints Celebrate 150th Anniversary of the Church in the Netherlands

written by Sister Janie Van KomenA simple monument sits next to a small canal in an authentic old-world farm setting in the northern part of Friesland in the Netherlands. An old man bicycles by and stops to tell the story of being a seven-year-old when this monument was first dedicated by T. Edgar Lyon, the mission president of the Netherlands Mission 75 years ago.

Down the road, an old woman sits at a table on the tea house lawn and recounts the story of her ancestors who were the first to be baptized in that small canal. Although she is not a member, she claims a sincere kinship with them and regularly brings notes and flowers to the monument as a token of respect and remembering.

The scene is quiet and serene, complete with a windmill in the background. This unassuming monument in a picturesque backdrop marks the beginning of The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Netherlands 150 years ago.

It began when Anne Wiegers van der Woude, a master Dutch ship builder, joined the Church in Wales in 1852, immigrated to the United States in 1853, and from there was called to go back to his native Netherlands to preach the gospel. He and his companion, Paul August Schettler, arrived August 5, 1861. After no success in Amsterdam, they separated to visit family members and try to share the gospel with them. Van der Woude traveled to Friesland and on October 1, 1861, baptized the first members of the Church in the Netherlands in a small canal located between Broeksterwoude and Damwoude: Gerrit A. van der Woude, Bouwdina van der Woude-Potgieters, and Elizabeth Wolters. That humble beginning of the Church gained many strong members, many of whom immigrated to America. By 1930, more than 5,000 Dutch members lived in Utah.

These events were celebrated by the Saints in the Netherlands throughout the months of August and September this year, culminating with a large celebration on September 24, 2011. On this day, the people of the Netherlands came together to celebrate this event. The group included every age of members, townspeople, investigators, and passersby. They came by car, bicycle, and on foot.

The initial gathering place was an outdoor tea house on a corner of the Broeksterwoude farmlands. Displays of the Church from the early days until now were arranged in an antiquated farm outbuilding, adding to the ambience.
The feeling of stepping back in history continued as the crowd walked the 750 meters to the monument. This monument was commissioned 75 years ago by then–mission president T. Edgar Lyon to be placed next to the canal where the first baptisms took place. He funded the project with donations from Dutch immigrants in the United States and former Dutch missionaries.
More than 325 people congregated, both sitting and standing to hear short talks by Elder Robert Van Komen, branch president and full time missionary;
Burgermeester Arie Aalberts; and newly appointed area seventy Hans Boom. Mr. Aalberts was presented his genealogy dating to the 1600s by Thies de Jonge, organizer of the event. Music was provided by a youth choir and the full-time missionaries.

The youth choir consisted of young people from Belgium and the Netherlands.
Elder von Doesburg was honored to be serving in his beloved country of the Netherlands for the first time since his mission began almost two years ago.

Elder Ellis was so excited to be a part of this moment in time of celebrating!
Balloons with messages of the gospel and an invitation to receive a free Book of Mormon were released at the conclusion of the program.
President Brubaker and President Boom grasped the opportunity to share their feelings of gratitude of being a part of this wonderful work!
My niece, Sarah, introduced us to Vedah. She met her 10 years ago in her Dutch class. Vedah is from Africa and was learning Dutch too. They became very good friends. She was in search for a new church to attend. Sarah invited her to come to church and hear her first talk in Dutch. Vedah came to support Sarah and felt so welcomed and loved at church! She met with the missionaries and loved the Gospel of Jesus Christ! She was baptized shortly after.

It was an honor to have Burgermeester Arie Aalbberts to be a part of this day.

A big thumbs up to Elder and Sister Van Komen who were very instrumental in helping make this event a once in a lifetime experience for all who attended.

It was a time to meet again past missionaries and future missionaries. These are two of my most favorite people!
Missionaries serving in the area were blessed to have this once in a lifetime opportunity!
On Saturday the people from the present celebrated the people of the past,
and together they looked toward the future success of the people of
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Markets in the Netherlands

One of our favorite things about the Netherlands is the markets that are held on Saturdays. We just so happened to have a market close to where we were staying near Leeuwarden.
You can find everything from fresh produce right from the farms nearby,
Old sleds.....
Enamelware, old garden tools.....
We were so excited to see this sweet Dutch woman in her traditional dress from
the nearby village of Staphorst.
She turned around at the right moment!
There were many klompen to choose from. These are mostly the garden variety of klompen.
Oh, how we love the traditions of this country of the Netherlands......many are still in practice today. They are holding onto a lifestyle in the countryside where life is more simple.

Miracles in Rotterdam South

Aaltje Lenoir, Rotterdam South, September 24, 2011

Aaltje is a 20 year old Dutch girl who is a complete miracle. Elder Davies and Elder Hawkley found her and her sister in the Spijkennise Centrum with an apple. Because she didn´t want two strange men in the same house as her sisters, she came along and also listened. At the beginning she didn´t believe in God, didn´t want to come to church, didn´t really want to do anything, but she really took the challenge seriously of reading the Book of Mormon. And that book changed her life. She started living the commandments and she started seeing the great joy the Book of Mormon has to offer. She found out that God did exist, and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the right religion in this world. She completely changed her life around so she could live the gospel standards and become baptized. She made that step this last Sunday, and you could see the joy beaming from her face. (Written by Elder Tanner Klippel)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Importance of District Leaders

President Brubaker brought all of the District Leaders together in the mission for a special training. He emphasized and re-emphasized the important role they play.
They are the ones that are teaching every week! Their positive influence on the missionaries is vital for missionaries to learn how to become better prepared missionaries.
They all take their calling very seriously, and feel excited to put into practice all they learned.
We all enjoyed a tasty lunch!

After being physically fed......
They were ready for more spiritual food.

We feel blessed with a feeling of unity and brotherhood in our mission!
Elder Bastian got everyone pumped up and excited about looking for those moments all missionaries have when things go right!
Even though there was lots of commotion and enthusiasm floating through the office, Elder Tibbitts stayed so focused!
It was like a reunion with past office secretaries! Sorry we didn't get Elder Marshall in the picture with Elder Benson and Elder Mueller.
It is a great day to be a missionary!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

President Brubaker's Weekly Letter to Our Missionaries

Safely Gathered In

As we drive from one assignment to the next we cross a lot of territory and see many farms. We see fields of grain and pastures where big content cows roam. It is interesting to see from time to time little stands where produce, jam, eggs, decorative gourds and other farm products are sold on an ‘honor’ basis. This week it seems that the stands are mostly selling pumpkins and gourds for fall cooking and decorating. Fall is definitely in the air. Crops are being carefully gathered in. It is also a time when families gather. In earlier times the family would all come together to harvest the crops. Each relied on the other to help lift and cut and store away the food for both themselves and their animals. There was also the question of staying warm during the winter. Firewood was gathered and in some areas of Holland they would cut blocks of thick organic mud to dry and later be burned like coal. All would work together and each family member was important to the complete process of preparing for winter. When the harvest was especially good there would be excitement at the assurance that all would have enough to eat and that all would be warm.

This week we start a new era of harvest in the Belgium Netherlands Mission. And just like in days gone by, family will be key to the success of the harvest. We are going to become experts at family gathering. Already since Zone Training this week we have seen multiple referrals come into the office for Missionaries in other cities and even in other countries where family members of our investigators live.

This weekend we had a Senior Missionary gathering. As part of the activity we went for a short walk in a forested area by a lake. There, on the edge of the trail was one single, solitary mushroom or toadstool. Elder Bush quickly remarked “I thought that you said in Zone Training that when you find one there will be others nearby.” My response was “I thought so too. Let’s look around”. As we kicked up leaves and waved our feet across the top of the grass we found another one! Then we sighted a third and a forth and so on. It was not apparent at first that there were more mushrooms around but with a little probing we found several more.

Every time we look at a single investigator we should imagine that we are looking at a pedigree chart stuck to their forehead. We need to “kick up the leaves” so to speak. We should always keep in mind that talking about friends and family is a sacred opportunity to find people to bring unto Christ. We should get to know all about their relatives, as you would get to know about their hobbies and what they do for a living. Together with your companion make goals as to how many new family finding investigators you want to have this week. Make it a habit to ask about the health of their family members and ask which ones might be ready to hear the gospel message. Help members to have the faith to rethink who in their families might now be interested in the gospel. It may have been years ago when they last asked them, or in many cases they never have approached their family members, but have lived under the killer assumption that “they would never be interested”.

The gospel is all about families. Our Mission is all about helping families live together forever. Let’s be creative at getting family referrals. When you hear the word BAPTISM think CONTACT FAMILY MEMBERS AND FRIENDS. Set goals for how many people you will talk to about their families or non-members you will contact for every baptism you attend. Senior Companions, help your companions to be able to ‘work the crowd’ so to speak at baptisms. Teach skills of conducting small talk with people that visit baptisms. Please don’t huddle together talking to the other missionaries … this time is as prime as it gets for finding new investigators. Determine what brochures and supplies that you need to be productive. Go in prepared and excited.

Doctrine and Covenants 14:3
3 Behold, the field is white already to harvest; therefore, whoso desireth to reap let him thrust in his sickle with his might, and reap while the day lasts, that he may treasure up for his soul everlasting salvation in the kingdom of God.

Have a great week,

President Brubaker

(President Brubaker sends a letter out weekly to all of the missionaries. On Monday, when they write their letter to him, a letter is waiting there for them to read. )

Monday, September 19, 2011

Happy Anniversary to the Tibbitts!

Elder and Sister Tibbitts celebrated their 15th Wedding Anniversary today! We helped in the celebration. This causes for a little "two step" don't you think? A ward member in Wassenaar made a cake especially for them on their anniversary! The office elders, assistants and we were the happy recipients of getting to devour the cake! Thanks for letting us help celebrate your wedding anniversary!
Happy Anniversary!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Province of Drenthe

We decided to stay up in this neck of the woods, so we could go to church in Emmen.
Emmen is located in the province of Drenthe.
Emmen arose from several small farming and peat-harvesting communities which have dotted the province of Drenthe since the Middle Ages.

We enjoyed going to church in Emmen. This ward is blessed with lots of
young families! Bishop van Damme told me that there are over 20 children in the Primary, and they must be all under 7!
On the way home, we happened upon this quaint vilage called Orvelte.
Orvelte has been rebuilt as it was in 1830, so that much of the village is now a lived-in open-air museum.
Here you can see barns of the Saxon type.
We loved the barns and the unique designs of thatch!
Gourds and pumpkins for sale.
The Netherlands Grow flowers best!
I love these decorative wood designs on the houses only found in this province of Drenthe. Anyone can find out the history behind these please let me know!

We fell in love with another part of this beautiful country!