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Sunday, December 25, 2011


For Christmas this year, I had Ashley. Now this may sound like a silly "service." It was definately one that I benifited from more then anyone else. I looked at the things in Ashley's life that make me think "wow! She is amazing! And I went from there. I decided that through the year, I would think "What Would Ashley Do?"
First of all, Ashley is is an incredible wife. She is so patient with her husband. My brother Chuck is an amazing person with many wonderful qualities but sometimes we communicate differently.  Ashley has mastered communication with love techniques. I decided to look at him through her eyes and try to better understand him throughout the year. I have really enjoyed the past year's visits with him.

During a particularlly difficult week in Utah, I was so grateful that he was there with me; it was so reassuring to have his shoulder to lean (and cry) on. But as with all big families, sometimes we all communicate in different ways, and misunderstandings might happen. This year, when a misunderstanding occured, I found myself thinking of my sweet sister Ashley, and I would ask myself, "WWAD?"
I looked at the things that make her who she is. I looked at the trials she has had in her life to make her a stronger person. In Ashely's job, she brings healthy food to lots of people. I decided to emulate this and help at the Bishop's store house. I filled many orders for people in need that day.
In March, Lani and I had babies. I found myself saying "wwad?". So I made a moby wrap for Cora, and at the same time, I made one for baby Hadley. BTW, Lani the money for that moby wrap that you gave me, was put back on the IOU list to give back to you.
Now, perhaps my most Ashley moment of the year was in the recruitment of our two sisters. This one may have been purely selfish, but in discussions with each of them, I was very Ashleyesque. And it worked!
In August, they started asking for vounteers to work doing laundry in the temple. I thought, now that could be rewarding! And that is something I could totally see Ashley doing with her sisters. So Lani and I looked into it. We started in September with Char. It was so fun!
On another note, I want to talk about the amazing service that I witnessed: When David passed away, it was so amazing to watch my brothers and sisters rally around and all work together so selflessly. I could see the attributes we have learned from this tradition being used all around me. I saw plane tickets donated to people in need. I saw someone watching 5 kids under the age of 6. I saw someone listen to the spirit whisper that he was needed now and he jumped on a plane 3 hours later. And his cute wife rallied around to make it happen. He had to face the hardest person to face while out in Utah. I have heard he did it with such grace and poise.

I saw someone take 13 kids ages 8-15 to Salt Lake Temple Square to see lights and sleep at a hotel for the night just to give the parents some much needed quiet grieving time. I saw someone love and care for a grieving widow. I saw people worry for their sweet cousins. I saw people doing laundry, cleaning houses, and doing hair for others. I saw girls stay up into the morning hours to finish the photo boards to remind everyone of the life our David lived, especially the poor sweet grieving widow. It truly was one of the most amazing, spiritual weeks of my life. I love the feeling that service gives.


  1. Thank you thank you thank you to all of our sweet Gates cousins for dropping everything and coming to our rescue! It means so much to all of us. We love you with all our hearts.

  2. I think one of the greatest blessings that this season of service has done for me, is to be able to find out more about the individuals we are serving that year. I feel so much closer to the person that I serve and the one that serves me. Thank you for your sweet comments Mitzi.

    Just last week, when my sisters were visiting we decided to do the season of service with my family next year and already assigned names. I'm excited to pass on this tradition.