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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

you never know...

Well here we are again, a new yr. and new names that we are to somehow give a meaningful service for and in behalf of. This has become a wonderful tradition and at the same time a challenge to some of us. should I just speak for myself and say that this yr was very rewarding and at the same time a challenge.
I have been very blessed this yr. and I could not help but think back to when I was growing up with all my brothers and sisters and the kind of Christmas's we had. My mother would give everything she had to make sure we all had some kind of present and a wonderful  Christmas time.
That being said, I decided that if I could, I would try to give to a family that may be in the same situation that my family was in.   

I know that some time in this service rendering, that I have a cows butt in my name out there, feeding some needy people.   Right. Michael MacBride?   So, I feel it is ok, to not have done physical labor in my service.
I do not have any pictures, so I will try to paint a picture in your minds as to what this was like. A picture is worth a 1000 words, so picture this:

I make some phone calls and make some arrangements to put things into motion.
As you all know I have been busy with the work that I took on.  I am in the Beverly Hills city offices trying to get a permit and I get a return phone call from one of my sources. (I had just hung up from talking to mom about our next mission, and where we might want to serve, and I was kind of emotional at the end of that call.)   Now I get this call and I explain what we as a family have done for a couple of years now, for Christmas.   I can't help but think how blessed I am to be the parent of such great, great kids and as many of you may know, the water faucet springs a leak. Yes folks, I am sitting waiting for my name to be called.  I am on  the phone, which is a no no.  I am trying to explain to this person  what I need from him. Now on the other end, he becomes caught up in the spirit  of what I would like to do, and I can now tell that he, too, has developed a small leak. I get control of myself and get across to him how he may be able to help me fulfill my service in behalf of the person I have been given. He said he would get back to me.
My next contact is a phone call while I am in the middle of a work day.  (Now any of you that have had that pleasure of making that kind of call to me know just how pleasant I can be).  I make myself very, very congenial as he starts to explain the options, that he has for me. I am once again overcome, even as I walk back and forth on the job. I am so touched by what he has told me, that a couple of workers ask me if everything is ok. "Yes,  I am ok" I say, ... "just some good news".

Now I would like to print the note that was sent along with the gift that I had agreed to send. (Thank you dear companion for writing this for me.)
"Dear 'Special Family'

I grew up in a family with 13 children... and our father left home when I was very young.  My Sweet mother struggled, working very hard to provide for us, along with the help from the church.
I will never forget the magic of Christmas... as we all came into the living room and saw all the gifts around the tree each year. The first thing we did before any packages were opened, was kneel down and thank our Father In Heaven for the gospel and for the kind  and wonderful people who Shared the  Christmas  spirit with us. I knew that my mom would not have been able to do this without help.

This year I want to share with you this special Christmas Spirit, and dedicate this to my marvelous mother  'Ione.'  Someday you can pass this on." 
 Have a Heavenly Christmas "

In this note, I dedicated the service to my mother, because I did not want the family, to whom this gift was given,  to know that this was really done for Mitzi McBride.  There is a family in Mitzi's ward, the same size as Mitzi's family, that will have now have a Christmas.
Mitzi, I received a phone call from your Bishop to give me a little report. When he met with the family and gave them the note and gift, they just sat on the sofa and wept and wept. The Bishop said "Brother Gates, You have given them a life line".

Thank you Mitzi for letting me share this with my Mom as this all transpired on December 12th, My Mother's birthday. I love you Mitt...



  1. What a beautiful story dad. Thank you for teaching us how to be so much better than we think we can be. I think about Grandma Gates so much this time of year. I am so thankful for the father she raised you to be. We love you so much dad, and are so thankful for your example of following the spirit in your life.

  2. How wonderful for that family! It certainly was all truly inspired. Chuck carries on the tradition and our family kneels in prayer every Christmas morning to thank our Heavenly Father for all that we have been blessed with.

  3. So amazingly touching! This required research, phone calls and patience. We all know how you prefer to DO rather than coordinate through phone calls. Way to bring it all together Dad!

  4. Dad, this was a beautiful service and post! I'm sure that family's lives were changed thanks to your sweet service. I love that you did it through Mitzi's ward and on grandma's birthday.... Simply perfect!