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, November 29, 2011


This is a letter from our area presidency inviting all to bring someone to church in December. We will see great blessings come ........
You might want to see this little video made in our mission encouraging our 'invite a family to church' initiative for December. The two Sisters are actually in our mission and the family is the Ward Mission Leader in Breda, Netherlands.

Go to the country website

and start the video in the center of the page.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Striving With Oneness With Others As Well As Within Ourselves

How Can I Increase Spirituality in my Life?

Part 6

Continued from last week’s letter

So far we have covered the first 8 of 10 points, which will help us to gain spirituality. These points are from a talk delivered by Elder Joe J Christensen. We now continue with number 9 …

9. Strive for oneness with others as well as within yourself, between the ideal and actual self.

Often, I will suggest to missionaries that they engage in an exercise as they are completing their missions. This exercise is called listing your “unifying principles”.

As a young businessman, the opportunity arose to attend what was billed as a Time Management Seminar. A trainer by the name of Charles Hobbs had developed a behavioral model. His approach was also to life as a whole and not just to the aspect of business. One thing that I really picked up on was his “Unifying Principles” concept. This involves an exercise to determine what is really important to us as individuals, and then to prepare related task statements. Performing these tasks, which relate directly to one’s personal priorities, helps to ensure that one is unified between actions and self-proclaimed principles.

Let’s look at this process in detail and try to see how it could increase spirituality…

A. Brainstorm – Write down anything and everything that comes to your mind when you ask yourself “what is important to me”. This could run the gambit between the 10 commandments and what flavor of ice cream makes you happy.

It will probably contain philosophy as well as favorite activities. It is important to list everything that comes to your mind and be very open. This is not the time to judge “is this really important to me” just write it down.

B. Divide the list into three categories by priority - The “A”s are those things that are most important. These are things that would be hard to do without; things that, if eliminated, would leave you lost or incomplete. Most of these will probably revolve around God, family relationships, and virtues. The “B”s are things that are of intense interest to you. Although not critical to your happiness they are a big part of you and your personality. These are things that make life enjoyable, and are laudable. They can be activities or philosophies. Often they can center on learning and self-improvement. The “C”s are the things that are nice, but not really that important to you.

C. Rank the “A” and “B” items in order of priority – This is a little more difficult but is crucial to the exercise. Soon you have a list in order of highest to lowest priority …. A.1, A.2, A.3 etc. …A.1 being the Item of top importance to you. Repeat with the B’s. The “C”s are put on the shelf and kept as a list of things that you like, yet they no longer play into this “Unifying Principles” exercise.

D. Prepare action statements to go with each of your principles – This is the time consuming part of the exercise. When doing this myself, it was a process of over several weeks. This is the part where prayer and inspiration are important.

Here are a few examples…

Eg. A1- Love God. Always be involved in my ward, socially as well as spiritually. Attend Church somewhere every Sunday, even on vacations and never be ‘on the water’ on a Sunday. Have meaningful prayer and scripture study daily. Always be worthy of, and have, a current Temple recommend.

A2 – Love Wife. Think of her needs before my own. Make sure that we share hobbies and interests so that we share time together: be careful not to overindulge in Sports at the expense of quality time with family. Make Birthday, Mother’s day and Anniversary a happy celebration for her. Take time to listen and not just “try to ‘solve it’ and move on”.

B7 – Learn about History – Always be reading a book about history. Take time to learn about the history of the places that I visit. Study about the lives of my ancestors and historical figures and try to emulate their good qualities and characteristics.

This sounds like a lot of effort, doesn’t it? I would suggest that you not do this until the last few weeks of your mission. You may even want to do step D. after you return home and can see life both from the perspective of being a full time servant of the Lord and as a saint with both earthly and spiritual concerns. After completing this process you will have a standard against which to measure yourself. Along with the Scriptures and Prayer, your “Unifying Principles” can tell you a great deal about how you are doing. When a major decision looms, a quick review of these principles can be one source of perspective, along with prayer for inspiration.

The act of determining if we measure up to our ‘ideal self’ is part of repentance.

Each Sunday as we partake of the Sacrament we renew covenants and ponder ways in which we can improve. We try to become more unified with God as well as to become closer to being ‘our best self’.

As missionaries we should be constantly comparing ourselves to our ‘best self’. As we set specific goals, perform well, evaluate and make needed adjustments, We can feel more unified with ourselves and with the Lord. This eliminates feelings of guilt and a separation from the Spirit’s guidance. Perhaps this drawing explains the point in a visual way. (It is interesting to note that the person who becomes totally disconnected with his unifying principles suffers tremendous feelings of guilt. He will either repent or be constantly justifying and trying to assuage the guilt feelings. Lashing out against his value system seems to grow out of this extreme ‘disconnect’. Thus we see one of the reasons that there is so much ‘anti’ material out there.)

Elder Christensen explains, “We often do not actually measure up to what we know we ideally ought to be. Sometimes we are not “one” as we are commanded to become. In order to become one, we need to engage in the process of the “at-one-ment,” or making the Atonement of Jesus Christ operative in our lives. We can grow toward that perfect oneness by applying those basic principles of faith in Christ unto repentance. Thus we can change, and our actual lives will come closer each day to becoming one with our ideal selves. If we are moving in that positive direction, the Spirit will be with us, but if we are going in the other direction, it will not. As the Lord said, “Be one; and if ye are not one ye are not mine” (D&C 38:27).

Let us strive to more closely align our actions, to our ideals.

As we repent and improve we will feel more unity with Christ and we will find that the atonement plays a bigger and bigger role in our lives. This will lead to greater spirituality.

Have a wonderful week,

We love you all,

President Brubakwe

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Counting Our Many Blessings.....

Over the rivers (canals) and through the woods to the mission home they go.....
We awaited anxiously for this day! Thanksgiving was a very busy day for the senior missionaries! They were busy cooking for all of the Netherlands......that is all of the young adults!
The table was all set......
All were busy getting the last minute touches on our meal!
Sister Pankratz helped make the gravy.
President Brubaker was in charge of slicing the turkey.....33 lbs!
Potatoes were almost ready!
Sister Bush, where did you find jello in this country?
Sister Beckstrand treated us to her homemade rolls!
The feast is on!
One of the things that we are so grateful for this year is
our beautiful senior missionaries!
Elder and Sister Bush
Elder and Sister Everton
Elder and Sister Salden
Elder and Sister Beckstrand
Elder and Sister Van Komen
Elder and Sister Anderson
Our missionaries are so blessed with angels in our mission!
Oh, we enjoyed our belated Thanksgiving all together!
We all feel incredibly blessed to be serving together in the
best mission in the world!

Heerlen Welcomes Joyce van Hulst

Joyce van Hulst- November 26, 2011-Heerlen

Elder Cundick, Joyce van Hulst and son, and Elder Favero

Joyce van Hulst was referred a few months ago to the missionaries by a neighbor of hers that is a member of the church. One of my first days in Heerlen I received a text “out of nowhere” from Joyce. I had seen her name in the phone as I tried to familiarize myself with different investigators from the past months. I also heard that she had a baptismal date at one point but she was no longer interested when it came down to making up her mind between the different churches.

The text asked if we would be willing to come by to answer some questions that she had, which of course we were more than happy to do. Joyce had been pondering and praying about the Book of Mormon and the church ever since she had asked to have a little distance from the Elders. During our first appointment back with her, it was clear that she had received an answer that it is true and was ready to do the rest that was necessary to be baptized! That answer proved to carry her through all other negative influences and now, with the Gift of the Holy Ghost, she can continue powerfully on! It is a miracle and a blessing to see how the love and prayers of members and Elders formerly in the area helped Joyce to find her way!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Return With Honor

Missionary work must go forward.....even without Elder Bastian......
and Elder Bastiaens!
There will be a huge void in our mission as it has come time for these two to return home......with HONOR!
We shared those things that were closest to our hearts with each other the eve before they both went home. Testimonies were strengthened as we had a very precious evening together at the mission home.
They will always cherish their time spent in the Belgium Netherlands Mission.
We feel so privileged to have been the "parents" of these two fine young men for two years!
Early in the morning, we made our way to the airport via Leiden Central Station.
President Brubaker loves these two missionaries!
Au revoir Elder Bastian. We will remember his mission motto":

"Just give One day at a time to the Lord. Give him your best for today."
We were excited to deliver Elder Bastiaens to his home, Brussels Belgium!
Soeur Bastiaens gave me a gift from her heart-a beautiful cross-stitched treasure!
Elder Bastiaens was placed back in the loving arms of his parents!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

We Love New Missionaries!

Three of our four new missionaries, straight from the MTC, arrived today in Amsterdam!
Elder Wright was one day late!
We treated them to Pannekoeken!
Elder Moscon was the first to open his new assignment letter!

He is serving with Elder Davies in Den Bosch!

Elder Ombach is serving with Elder Da Cruz in Spijkenisse!
Elder Wright and Elder Shoemaker opened their assignment letters together!

Elder Shoemaker is serving with Elder Schulte in Gent, Belgium!
Elder Wright is serving in Arnhem with Elder Sanchez!

President Brubaker makes sure they have the best trainers the mission has to offer!

Monday, November 21, 2011

How Can I Increase Spirituality in my Life?

Part 5

Continued from last week’s letter

So far we have covered the first 7 of 10 points, which will help us to gain spirituality. These points are from a talk delivered by Elder Joe J Christensen. We now continue with number 8 …

8. Love everyone, but keep romantic feelings in their proper place.A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. John 13:34

There is no doubt about it; Love Is the Key. The Savior commands that we love one another. As with all the commandments, this one is for our own good.

How well we learn to love others will define in large part how happy we will be.

When you care for others and their welfare, you can derive great satisfaction as you help them.

In English to “love” can mean many things. To love our missionaries is akin to parental love. Between Sister Brubaker and I, it is romantic love and much more.

When you love someone enough to sacrifice your desires in order to fulfill their desires, you are in a position to better understand the Savior’s love for us. Then you can know what is meant by “as I have loved you, … also love one another.”

This is perhaps the link between love and spirituality. As we love, we understand the nature of Christ better, and as we better understand Christ, we will naturally draw closer to the Spirit. Love in this sense always involves caring enough to see that others are happy, safe, and provided for. When we see someone in need we feel a healthy sorrow for, and a desire to help him or her.

The Savior in the parable of the Good Samaritan shared one of the best-known stories of this type of love. In this story, love triumphs over class distinction and inconvenience.

Love will define the followers of Christ. If we chose to judge others harshly, gossip, and be unforgiving … we will not be known as his Disciples.

A common trap for members of the Church is to allow self-correction and strongly held personal views about reaching for a more perfect way of living, spill over into the act of “correcting” other people. We monitor ourselves each Sunday to see where we need to repent as we partake of the Sacrament. It can be easy to become Pharisaical and nit-picky about how others ‘live the commandments’. Love is the antidote for this illness. We must give each other the benefit of the doubt.

A church leader once commented that we don’t smell enough tobacco in church meetings. By this I think he meant that people who are struggling to overcome bad habits and better live the commandments might not feel welcome in church, when church is exactly the place where they should go to find strength. Church is like a hospital; it is where we go to get healed. Do we ever get our thoughts twisted into thinking that Church is just for those that live all the commandments. Someone said that if all sins smelled bad to the degree of their importance, we would be surprised at how bad we all smell. Loving others is to be accepting of others, despite their faults. Love cannot be conditioned on the other person being as righteous as we think we are. Nor can love be limited to those who are our cultural equivalents. This takes practice and it requires increasing our tolerance to differences.

So if love is the key, what about falling in love? Falling in love involves passionate feelings. Ironically, this gets mixed up with what we want for ourselves as much as what we want for others. There is an attraction that we often mistake for love. Romantic feelings are an important and powerful part of the love that we should have for our spouse. Yet, passionate attraction alone is not love. One of the aspects of healthy romantic love is the desire to protect and serve our mate.

It is easy to confuse passionate feelings with true romantic love. It is also easy to mistake feeling sorry for and wanting to help someone with their problems, with true romantic love.

As full time missionaries, this is not the time for romantic love. Like much in our missions this can be a type for ‘real life’. To control romantic feelings we must control circumstances…

First, never allow the combustive elements to come together.

1. For missionaries this involves such things as never leaving sight of your companion, focusing on the will of God rather than selfish desires, staying at arms length and never engaging in a private conversation with someone of the opposite sex.

2. Second, never confuse feelings of sympathy for romantic feelings.

Beware that this is a set of wires that is easy to get crossed.

As we listen to the concerns and trials of others we can become emotionally moved. We might feel the instinct to ‘gather in and nurture’ or to protect. This is a strong emotion for a righteous person. Sometimes it can get confusing as you desire, inappropriately, to just “take them in your arms, and let them know it will be alright. Don’t do it.

1. As missionaries we are to love and bring people unto Christ. Don’t allow the concern that you feel for these wonderful people to mutate into romantic feelings. Should you start to have romantic feelings call me and we will make arrangements to eliminate the potentially combustive circumstances.

Dear Elders and Sisters, I pray that you will love everyone with whom you have contact … it is the key to success as a missionary. As we think of the needs of others and serve them before we worry too much about ourselves we will grow in spirituality. The eternal joy that awaits God’s children is indivisible with love.

We love you so very much. We pray for you every day. May your lives be filled with love and kindness.


President Brubaker

Apeldoorn Zone President's Training

We met the Apeldoorn Zone in the new Zwolle Chapel for the Zone President's Training. This region of the Netherlands is known for it's beautiful forests and a more relaxed "out in the country" feel. We feel we have escaped the craziness of the city, and are more at home here with the tall wooded trees and hiking trails everywhere. We were greeted by some energetic, excited missionaries, and we were anxious to spread the positive news about how the mission is doing right now.
The missionaries shared miracles that are happening in each companionship! This is a direct result of their diligence and obedience. We were anxious to talk to the missionaries about how to increase their finding skills.
Our senior missionaries are included right along with the young missionaries when we celebrate birthdays. The missionaries love the opportunity to express a word of appreciation for all they do to help them.
l-r Zuster Van Komen, Elder Pankratz, Elder Pope, elder van Doesburg, and Elder Hyer
Elder Van Komen and President Brubaker share a moment together.
There is a time and season for everything under heaven.....a time to smile and be crazy! If you aren't having fun you aren't doing it right........right?
Elder Bjork and Elder van over Beek had to leave early to make a teaching appointment with the Bushes! We couldn't let them leave without a photo!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Karin is The Newest Member in Breda

Karin De Lange, 20 November 2011, Breda

A few weeks ago, we were told by Familie De Lange that their daughter,
Karin, wanted to be baptized. And since she is 9 years old, we had the opportunity to teach her the missionary lessons! We were so
excited for the opportunity to teach her. We started with the Restoration, and just went on from there. We were able to do a lot of fun things with her because she was younger. One of those things was to
play games that we made up, like matching games with gospel principles as the matches. We had about a 3-week period to teach her, so we were able to spend a lot of time with her and her family
talking about how the gospel blesses our lives, and feeling the Spirit together. One of the biggest blessings for us as missionaries was seeing Karin´s great faith. She reads her scriptures and prays every
day. She really has a desire to follow her Savior, and strive to be like Him. Karin is a great example to the rest of her family. They come to church as a family, and really are engaged and feel the Spirit. Karin has a great strength, and a beautiful testimony of Jesus Christ. written by Sister Herring and Sister Hill

"Golden" Godfred Is Baptized in Amsterdam

Godfred Mensah, Amsterdam, 20 November 2011

Godfred Mensah was one of the pensive people we'd ever contacted. We had a short conversation with him that first day by the metro station, gave him a Book of Mormon and set up another appointment, and he was gone. But from that first appointment with him, we came to know that he was a very dependable investigator. He was always on time to meetings and appointments. From this fact, we came to name him Golden Godfred.

We had many conversations with him about forgiveness; the forgiveness God gives to us and how that allows us to forgive others. That was one of the points of the gospel that attracted him. His first time at church was actually during General Conference. He loved listening to the prophet and other speakers.

Godfred is the best 28 Ghanaian man we have ever taught. He would always speak Twi with Zuster De Groot, and after she left, he tried to teach us, and would always laugh at our mistakes.

He said this to us during one of our appointments: "To me, our church is 100% perfect."

Godfred is excited to be in the church and to be a member. He has found a family here in Holland, with the other Ghanaian members of the ward. They take care of each other. We are excited for Godfred to grow in the gospel!

Written by Zuster Jeffs and Zuster Larsen

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Bernadette Embraces the Gospel of Jesus Christ

Bernadette van den Bosch, 19 November 2011, Assen

Elder McDaniel, Bernadette, Aswin Loorbach and Elder Ellis

Bernadette is a super nice and sweet lady who makes the missionaries feel good. She has been found through helping the missionaries translate for one of her neighbours. She received the lessons and almost got baptized. When Elder Merrill and I (Elder Ellis) worked in Assen together one of the members gave us Bernadette's number because she just recently ran into Bernadette who had requested that we come over again to teach her. We started coming and she listened to what we said and started progressing in the Gospel. She said that she started being more happy in her life. She was still facing trials trying to hold her back. She kept moving forward in the steadfastness of Christ and made the decision to be baptized. The rest is now history and it was a very beautiful baptismal service. She has felt so much Joy in her life ever since and is very happy. Bernadette is an awesome example of someone following Christ.