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!!!

Monday, April 30, 2012

President Brubaker's Weekly Letter

Today is “Queen’s Day” in the Netherlands

Today is the celebrated birthday of the queen. When she ascended to the throne Beatrix (whose birthday is in the winter) chose to have the annual celebration continue on her mother’s birthday. For this public holiday, you will notice many things change color to orange. The current queen, Beatrix, is the daughter of Queen Juliana. They are direct descendants of William of Orange and the royal family is often called the house of Orange. Thus we see so much changing of colors this week as a tribute to the house of “Orange”.

Though royalty in the Netherlands wields no meaningful political power, they are generally well respected as a symbol of the country’s heritage. The queen’s children and other members of the royal family are taught to be gracious and act with poise as they serve in various ceremonial capacities.

As children of The Heavenly King, we are also endowed with a royal heritage. In 1st Peter we read

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. 1 Peter 2: 9 

The scriptures disclose an important aspect of early Christianity; the doctrine that man can become like God. It is curious to me that many “Christians” like to say that Mormons are not really Christians. One of our beliefs that critics use to substantiate this claim is that we believe that we can progress and eventually become “like God”.

We are promised that we can receive "the fullness of God" through the grace of Christ (Ephesians 3:19).
Christ said that we can become one with Him, as He is one with the Father (John 17:20-23).
Paul said that Christians can become "joint heirs with Christ" and be glorified with Him (Romans 8:14-18).
He challenged us to pursue the example of Christ "who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God" (Philippians 2:5,6).
Peter said that through Christ, we can "put on the divine nature" and receive great and precious promises (2 Peter 1:3-4).
Those who follow Christ can become "like Him" (1 John 3:2), and can "inherit all things" (Rev. 21:7),
and can be kings and priests before God (Rev. 1:6),
sitting with Christ in His throne (Rev. 3:21).

A few years ago Sister Brubaker and I had the opportunity to visit Ravenna, Italy where we visited some very early Christian Churches. There we saw some interesting art and architecture. One of the most impressive of these was a set of murals made of small mosaic tiles. There were two mosaic murals, one on each side of the chapel. Above the windows, along the balconies, from the back to the front of the church were murals depicting men on the right and women on the left side of the room, standing in line, wearing interesting robes and holding crowns in their hands. Though the story line is that this represents the Emperor Justinian and his court, to me it appears as though they are advancing forward wearing priestly robes holding crowns with which to have The Father crown them “Kings and Queens”. This is just my opinion. These murals date from the 400’s AD.


Another mural in the church adds credence to the feeling that these murals represent holy ordinances. Note the hand extending out from behind “curtain”.

A stronger case that man can become “as God” comes from an Old Testament scripture that is later followed by a New Testament reference by the Savior. To those who follow Christ and receive His grace and power, great promises are extended. A particularly interesting example is found in Psalm 82:6
"Ye are gods; and all of you children of the Most High."
This is really something! The Bible is telling us that we are Gods. So is this a new and “non-Christian” philosophy? Christ repeated that scripture in John 10:34-36 to defend Himself against charges of blasphemy:

“Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?
If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;
Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?”

As we obtain the blessing of priesthoods and magnify our callings, we become co-inheritors of all that God has. (See D&C 84:33-38)

So as you celebrate Queen’s Day just remember that you, too, are royalty. Act with grace and propriety, the people are watching you; and they too have a divine heritage.

Have a wonderful day and week,

We love you,

 President Brubaker

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Miriam is Converted to the Gospel through Book of Mormon

Miriam Bijker April 29, 2012

Elder Guanuna, Joachim Muurling, Miriam, and Elder Hansen

Miriam Bijker was raised in a good Christian home, always going to church on Sunday.  As she began to have a feeling that something was to happend in the future, she began searching religions and doing her own research to find an answer.  Then about a year ago she met Joachim Muurling a member of the church, and he told her about the Book of Mormon and shared his testimony with her.  She began to read and couldn’t stop reading. She went to church with Joachim every Sunday.  We then started meeting with her and she told us how she felt good going to church and the warmth and love she felt from the members.  She also told us that she never understood why a person died for her or suffered for her pains and sins; but through the Book of Mormon, she was able to understand the reason why, and grew a great amount of faith in our Savior Jesus Christ.  She received great support from all of the members, especially from the young adults, and finished reading the whole Book of Mormon and received a testimony of this church.  Now she expresses how happy she is, and how happy she is that she was able to find the gospel. 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Gabriel Is Prepared To Receive Gospel

Jacque Gabriel Agyekum – April 28, 2012

Elder Mortensen, Gabriel, and Elder Thueson

            We first met Gabriel when he came up to us at a bus stop and asked if we were pastors. We said “something like that” and he asked us if we had a message about Christ for him. We said we sure do! As we began to teach Gabriel, we saw that he had a strong love for God. He progressed quickly and was immediately ready to live the commandments.  He was excited to be baptized and follow the example of Jesus Christ. He is now looking forward to receiving the priesthood and entering into the temple.
Written by Elder Mortensen and Elder Thueson

"Mormons Got Talent" in Eindhoven

Written By Elder Andrews
With much preparation, incredible support from ward members and the mission, the Elders in Eindhoven (Elder Van Overbeek, Elder Andrews, Elder Kunz, and Elder Burgess,) with ward mission leader Harry van de Sande, were able to put together the ward missionary activity "Mormons Got Talent." Due to great support by the ward council, and the guidance of Preach My Gospel the event was a great success.
 From its beginning Sunday workshop, the ward members were excited and prepared after doing role play activities and receivinginstruction on how to invite their friends to come to the church for the upcoming activity. 
 A few weeks and a few hundered invitations later (produced by Brother Mark Daams, Eindhoven Ward) the Talent show had arrived, with an attendance of over 100 people; 30 of which were non members. Investigators came, who brought parents and friends;less active members were invited and brought their friends as well, and many other members also brought friends and family of other faiths. The night began with talents of every kind- music by choir, band, and various instruments along with cultural dancing, story telling, and primary songs sung with costumes by the young members of the ward.

 Sister Cadillo organized plenty of snacks for the intermission, where the missionaries organized a church tour for everyone in attendance.  Members of the ward gave short explanations of the various help organizations of the church in their respective rooms, including Relief Society, Primary, Young Men/Young Women, and Geneaology, with of course a highlight of the tour being the baptismal font.
 After the intermission and church tour, the show continued for the second half and ended with the invitation for all non members in attendance to come the following Sunday to experience a LDS service. With four Books of Mormon delivered, many pass-along cards shared, and many friendships built. 

"Mormons Got Talent" was a huge success.
"There are many honorable ways to find people to teach," -Preach My Gospel-

Monday, April 23, 2012

President Brubaker's Weekly Letter to Our Missionaries

Let’s Get Organized

In the Doctrine and Covenants we read…Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God.
(D&C 88:119)

We often hear people say things like “He’s so organized”, or “He can’t get his act together”, or “I’m just not an organized person”.

This week two of my sibling sisters and a niece came to visit for a couple of days. These sisters are successful schoolteachers and one is now a school principal.

Nancy is my older sister. When I was a young boy she would protect me from the typical persecutions that come with having an older brother. I have always been somewhat in awe of the things she has accomplished. Like many of us she has always had big dreams. The difference is that she usually accomplishes her dreams. She has earned a doctorate degree, she runs marathons, she has hiked in the Himalayas, she is an excellent and nutritional cook, She is active in service projects in far corners of the world, she is a successful mother and grandmother, and she is an elementary school principal. To do all this she has had to be well organized.

We all want to do wonderful things in our lives. We all have certain “high priorities” that we want to accomplish. Since to make the most of life we need to be organized, let’s take a look at what it means to be an organized person?

The scriptures teach us about organization as it pertains to the creation. We believe that the world was created from existing matter. In the beginning it was unorganized matter. So how did The Father get it organized? 1) First he gained a clear vision of the task, even roll playing it ahead of time (see Moses 3:5)  2) Next he divided the work up into segments. (days)  3) Then he gave specific assignments to accomplish the various parts of His plan. 4) With each step he got feedback as to how it was going.  5) If in these feedback sessions there were issues, they were addressed and worked out during the next step. If an unwanted guest was present, a plan to eliminate the threat was formulated and carried out. 6) Diligent effort was expended right up to the end of the project. 7) Then there was a time of joy and rejoicing at the conclusion.
So in summary, a way to get organized is to follow this outline.

1    .    Ponder the task and clarify your vision of it.
2    .    Break the plan into smaller parts or “goals”
3    .    Proceed with action accomplishing the desired task, one goal at a time.
4    .    Evaluate, measure and report along the way (often involves paperwork)
5    .    Make needed course corrections
6    .    Finish the task, endure to the end
7    .    Feel joy and satisfaction at accomplishment

What kinds of things do missionaries need to organize?

Preach My Gospel mentions several things that we should organize

Organize your study journal  Use your study journal to record and organize what you are learning. Frequently review the thoughts you have recorded. Organize your journal so that you can easily recall what you have learned”,” Your study journal may be a bound journal, a notebook, or a binder. Record and organize your thoughts and impressions in a way that fits how you learn. Develop your own system to easily access key information in the future. Use it often to review, access, and apply what you have learned. Use your study journal to take notes and record impressions during your personal and companion study, district meetings, zone conferences, and interviews with the mission president.”

Organize your lessons  To prepare to teach the doctrine clearly and with spiritual power, organize and summarize what you will teach into a lesson plan.”

Organize study materials  organize your study materials, and remain alert.”(for effective studies)

Organize Area Book  The area book is organized as follows: (see page 140 PMG)”

Organize progress records and baptism calendars “Keep them up to date and have plenty of copies around to use at key moments”, “Keep a folded current progress record in your planner as a place marker”, “review and update the teaching calendar each time you meet with the investigator so that he knows your purpose and is reminded of his baptismal goal”

Just as an example let’s take the mandate to have an organized study journal and run through the organizational steps.

1.     Ponder the task and clarify your vision of it.
Hmm… I need a book with great quotes, scriptures to use in missionary work and zone conference assignments. It needs to be set up in a way that I can quickly find the material I need at any given moment.
2.     Break the plan into smaller parts or “goals”
-       Find a hardback notebook with numbered pages and small enough to carry around easily.
-       I’ll need to divide it into separate sections for Zone Conference notes, Scripture study notes and general quotes so I will need to get colored pencils and some tape to make tabs
-       Decide if I will use a pen or a pencil and have some on hand.
-       In case I run out of space I’ll want to know I can get additional materials that will tie in to my format.
-       Use it often to review, access, and apply what you have learned.
-       Use your study journal to take notes and record impressions during your personal and companion study, district meetings, zone conferences, and interviews with the mission president.
3.     Proceed with action accomplishing the desired task, one goal at a time.
Start working through the above list.
4.     Evaluate, measure and report along the way (often involves paperwork)
Every week I will review the study manual as a part of my personal study to see if the things and method I write are useable and make the information accessible
5.     Make needed course corrections
Change method if needed
6.     Finish the task, endure to the end
Keep up the journal my entire mission
7.     Feel joy and satisfaction at accomplishment
This study journal will be a source of joy to me as I remember the way I learned and felt as a missionary.

You can apply this formula to anything that you want/need to accomplish. Getting a college degree, going on a trip, teaching a Sunday School lesson, learning a sport etc., etc., etc.

Tip: Don’t label yourself as “unorganized” but think of yourself as “organized”. Either way, if you think you are, you probably will be.

Tip: A TO DO LIST is not in and of itself getting organized; to be organized you need to ponder and assign a priority to each item. Then create a step-by-step plan of HOW and WHEN you will accomplish the items on your list. You need to keep track and review the list to see if you are procrastinating an urgent/important task.

Tip: Being organized is not being a perfectionist in every realm. Some things are just fine “happening as they happen” Over programming and being constantly stressed is not the best way of being organized.

Tip: Be careful not to become a mechanically driven by your plans. Be willing to stop what you are doing when the Spirit dictates to reach out to another in need.

Some say that the natural state of things is unorganized chaos. To rise to your potential and overcome the “natural man” you will need to master these simple guidelines of organization.

We are not left alone to strive to be organized. Heavenly Father loves us and wants to bless us. As we go through the steps of organizing a task we can pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Spiritual guidance can help us gain an eternal perspective, which can be a strong motivation to remain organized.

If goals are reflections of the desires of our hearts, then organizing ourselves to meet goals is how we change reflections into realities.

May you be successful at learning and putting into practice good organizational habits.

Have a great week and know that we love you,
President Brubaker

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Historic Day in Rotterdam!

Today was history in the making!  There are many Portugese members that live in Rotterdam.  President Jelmer DeJonge, the Stake President of the Rotterdam Stake,  felt the time was right to start a Portugese branch here in Rotterdam.  The Portugese members were so excited to have the entire meeting in their native language.  

We have two missionaries serving in our mission that are from Brazil.  They are now both serving in the Rotterdam zone.  Their help with the Portugese community is a great blessing!  
 Elder Da Cruz and Elder Pelaquim were humbled and honored to be a part of this historic day!

Albert Feels the Joy of the Gospel in His Life

Albert Dickens, 22 April, 2012

Brother De Wilde, Albert, Sister Palenikova and Sister Larsen
Albert Dickens comes from CuraƧao. He used to be a former investigator (4-5 years ago). We re-found him (Sister Hill, Palenikova and Larsen) and he was still interested in learning the gospel. He is a very positive person with a great heart, helping others in his free time (always). He doesn't work anymore so he has more time now. We met him regularly two times per week + he came to the church every Sunday and received gospel principle lessons at the church led by the previous bishop. Albert asked him to baptize him. He was very happy after the baptism and was welcomed by ward members.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Jo-Ann and Joantly Follow the Example of Jesus Christ

Jo-Ann Jancki and Joantly Noordzee
April 21, 2012, Antwerpen

Elder Van Overbeek, Joantly Noordzee and Jo-Ann Jancki and Elder Mohrman

Jo-Ann Jancki (13) and Joantly Noordzee (8) are the children of Sonia Noordzee and Martinez Jancki.  They all come from Suriname, and we first met this wonderful family on the street while it was raining, where Sonia, when confronted, stepped underneath a canopy and said, "'I always have an ear for Jesus."  Since then, we have taught and shared the different lessons with the whole family till the point came where they made a decision to let Jo-Ann and Joantly be baptized so they could have the gift of the Holy Ghost dwell in their home.  Jo-Ann and Joantly were very excited and have been very welcomed in their respective peer groups in the church as well as have Sonia and Martinez.  They are doing their best to apply the different church programs in their daily lives, like going to activities and starting Family home evening.  They are all looking forward to the day that Sonia and Martinez can follow the example of their children and be baptized, and then go to the temple where they will be sealed for Eternity.
Elder Mohrman

The Amersfoort Ward Welcome the Rensens With Open Arms

Jacqueline  Rensen,  21 April, 2012

Elder Nielsen, Elder Bjork, members of the Merrill Family, Jacquilene,  one of the 
Merrill’s daughters, Brother Rensen and two more Merrill family members.

Henk and Jaqueline met the church in the example of the Merril family.  There was something different about the way they talked with each other and simply in who they were.   Henk asked them about it and learned that they lived differently because of their faith.  This stayed in his heart, and months later, in the Christmas break, he decided for himself to become a "Mormon" and join the church.  That Sunday Henk and Jaqueline walked into the church where I was in Amersfoort for the first time.  Henk was so excited to meet everyone and learned everything we had to tell as fast as we could teach it.  Jaqueline remained loyal to her own church while supporting Henk in his descision.  They made a deal to go together to church, half of the weeks in his church, and the other half in her church.  She had no plans to ever become a "Mormon".  In July of that same year, Henk was baptized by the family that had inspired him to make this step in his journey.  And shortly thereafter, they came to visit me in Groningen.  They both looked different, they glowed.  And Jacky told me how happy she was in spite of all the losses she had had and she did not know why.  A few weeks later Jaqueline asked me if I would baptize her.  She had felt something as she sat in the church and had decided, much to the surprise of Henk, to take the same step.  Jaqueline was baptized on the 21st of April amid family and friends gathered to support her on this day.  Henk and Jaqueline are living evidence of the truth of this Gospel and the power of Christ to heal the broken heart.     

Blessings Come In Abundance in April!

Living in such a beautiful country brought many family members to visit us in April.
We were delighted to have Scott's two sisters and niece come to visit.
Keukenhof was in it's prime!

Our son Jacob and his wonderful wife, Abby were able to come to see Abby's ancestral homeland.  

Caroline, our daughter came the next day.  She came a few days before her husband Ryan and her active 4 year-old, Jacob.  

Words cannot describe our instant love for our dear granddaughter , Claire, President Brubaker had not met yet.

 Rachel, our youngest daughter, was able to come for this family reunion in the Netherlands!

Holland's tulips were incredible.  We took a day riding bikes through the fields of tulips!

A must on Jacob and Abby's list was to visit Volendam.  Abby has photos of relatives who had their family pictures taken here over 70 years ago.
She wanted to add her own family photo to her family album.
 Celebrating our Dutch "heritage."
 The whole family together in costume.  Oh, we had so much fun dressing up!

Jacob Simmons wanted to take his catch home with him!

"Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love
and to work and to play and to look up at the stars."
Henry van Dyke

Friday, April 20, 2012

Hans Smith is Excited to Be Back in church in the Hague

Hans Smith, 20 April 2012
Den Haag

Elder Romer, Hans Smith and Elder Sanchez

HANS SMITH came back to church when the new church building was ready. Elder Sanchez and I started to meet with him. At the first lesson, he had many questions and some doubts; but the next lesson we decided to set a baptismal date with him. We set it four or five weeks away and he told us that was way too long. He asked if he could be baptized in two weeks.  We continued to meet with him for the next two weeks and he progressed amazingly since the first appointment. He is super humble and a great member of the ward of Den Haag.  He goes on join teaches with the missionaries too!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Den Haag and Rotterdam Zones Meet At Temple

On Wednesday morning, all missionaries from The Hague and Rotterdam zones met bright and early at the temple for an experience which will be one we will always remember!  
 Missionaries met outside the temple after for a group picture.
 The sisters who are serving in these two zones were so excited to spend the day together.
 Justin and Jilllian Christensen wanted a picture of all the missionaries in these two zones whom they have taught!  Wow!

Missionaries met together for training by President Brubaker.
 We were touched by the beautfiul song "Armies of Helaman" sang by a group of missionaries.
 Missionaries were reminded of the importance of what their purpose is as missionaries:
To bring others to Christ.  We have a very young mission, with over 30 % of our missionaries who have only been here for 1-3 transfers.  President Brubaker taught the importance of inviting new investigators to be baptized in the 1st or 2nd lesson.
 What a treat for us to have Jillian and Justin attend the temple and zone conference with us.
 Sister Van Stokkum is on her way to the Ukraine.  She is from Utrecht, and made a short stop from the MTC to obtain her visa.  We wanted to keep her!
 After our training, we loaded everyone up in the mission cars, and met in Keukenhof, the beautiful tulip gardens of the Netherlands.
 Sister Davies, Sister Schwab, Sister Rich, and Sister     enjoyed the flowers together.

 We all congregated at the windmill for a group picture.  We were blessed with sunshine today!
The Hague and Rotterdam zones enjoying what Holland does best!   TULIPS!

 Elder Romer's birthday was today.  We all sang our favorite Dutch birthday song to him!

The best two years!
President Brubaker spent some time with a group of elders and I enjoyed being with Sister Rich and Sister Schwab.
All things bright and beautiful......God created them all!