Monday, April 18, 2011

A little bit like a “duck”...

I’ve decided, in some way or another, this blog is a little bit like a “duck.”  It’s visible and gliding forward, ever so slightly, along the watery crust.  Meanwhile, below the surface, there is a tremendous amount of work taking place, which few see.  In Gates' case, these selfless labors are from everyone surrounding him and the Hunsaker Family.

This morning, I sat in a meeting discussing the needs of the Hunsakers; more than 17 auxiliary leaders and personally invited guests were in attendance.  This was actually our second reunion conversing over what burdens we, as a Ward Family, could lift from the Hunsakers.

I literally shook my head in astonishment listening to what is taking place in our little neighborhood, within the community and amongst Gates’ friends.  I began accounting for what I heard but decided to not publish a list; I know, for every act of service I hear about, there are another 10 of which I have no knowledge.

Not one time, I repeat, NOT ONE TIME have I talked to Brian or Cherie where they don’t express how much they appreciate and recognize what is being done.  In fact, when their Home Teacher asked what he could do, Brian said, “All I could ask you to do, is to tell everyone of our appreciation and love for the outpouring of support and service we’ve received.”   

I reiterate what Brian said again to me tonight, “We are so grateful for everything, everyone is doing.”

Reese and Gates
A few hours ago, Brian and I laughed as he shared with me what Gates wanted “announced to the world.” 

Brian:  “Gates, I’m calling to give an update for the blog, is there anything you want me to share?”
Gates:  “Yea…  Tell ‘em I got my Sprite!  Oh, and it was epic!”

As you might gather, Gates continues with bright spirit.  He had a treatment today to loosen some of the congestion in his lungs with what is known as an RT Jacket.  It’s a combination of compressed air hoses, which reverberate to free the mucus that's making it difficult for him to breathe.  Doctors are not rushing to place him in rehabilitation, so estimates are he will be out of the ICU mid-week.

My last comment regarding service:  What is written on each post is manifest online, but there are countless acts of service being performed where only those who truly matter see: Gates, the Hunsakers and our Father in Heaven.  Some times, a lot of times, it’s just our Father in Heaven. 

“That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.” - St. Mathew 6:4

A final thought:  Gates was called to serve in the Baton Rouge, Louisiana mission (Spanish speaking).  Just 90 minutes before he was to be set-apart as a missionary and approximately 18 hours before he was to report to the Missionary Training Center, he sustained his injury. 

Gates, realizing his current situation, conversing with his Bishop and family, shared with them one of the most clear, mature and meaningful thoughts he could have when he said, regarding this blog and his ability to touch and bless the lives of others:

“So my mission has begun.”

Those reading, not of the LDS Faith:

A “Ward” is a local congregation based on regional boundaries.

A “Home Teacher” is a companionship of at least one Melchizedek Priesthood holder. As part of their responsibility to watch over the members of the Church, home teachers visit their assigned families at least once each month to teach and strengthen them. Home teachers establish a relationship of trust with these families so that the families can call upon them in times of need.

A “Bishop” is a man who has been ordained and set apart as the presiding high priest for a ward, or congregation. He has overall responsibility for ministering the temporal and spiritual affairs of the congregation (equivalent to a pastor in other religions); an unpaid clergy member.

If you would like to learn more about The Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints, you may click on the following links: or


  1. YAY so happy you finally got your sprite!!! You're absolutely right your mission has begun, just from looking at the comments on your blog here it is amazing all of the lives that you have touched, you and your family are amazingly strong people and have helped me so much to appreciate the simple things in life! Keep up the hard work Gates!!
    Love you all XOXO

  2. Gates, so happy you got to have a "SPRITE"!
    Thankyou for all you do for those around you. You & your family has tought me so much. Your right your on a different mission & it has began. Your a special young man & I am learning so much from you & your family. You have came so far in less then 2 week's. Im so thankful for our savior for putting you & your family in my life. You have taught me so much. The simple thing's that we take for granite add up too be so much. I have been thru alot of trauma in my life but I know Heavenly Father is right there beside me all the way... Something silly, im not too good at this comp. stuff this is the 3 blog I have tried too send today. At first early on I couldn't even figure it out how too send anything at all. Thankgoodness that my boy's can help me. I will get this down!!! Love you Gates & your family very much. So thankful for all of them. Cherr's to another good day:)!

  3. Right on Gates!!! So good to hear. This was my favorite post so far! So inspiring. Had chills the whole time! Love you Gates, see you this week!


  4. Yay Gates :) So glad you finally got your Sprite!!!!! Keeping you and your family in my prayers...and I'm spreading the word about the concert on Saturday!!!! Keep up the faith Gates!!!

  5. YAY Gates! I'm so happy you got some sprite! I don't Gates personally but was introduced to him and this blog by my friend Susan Jeanette Smith. I love the uplifting spirit I feel every time that I read this blog! I have kept Gates and his Family in my prayers since the first night I heard what happened. Keep the faith and always remember your placed where you are for reason beyond our known measure! Someone needs something you have :)

  6. Gates- So good to hear you are doing so well!! Your story caught my eye on KSL as my yougest brother had a similar accident five years ago on a snowboard. They always say that a SCI dosent just affect the person injured but the entire family as a whole. And its so very true!! And its not always a bad effect either!! Its amazing how much love and support one receives when things like this happen. You really do have SO MUCH to give, you have no idea!! I wish you a speedy recovery and would love to possible meet up with you at some point. My brother put together this fundraiser that we do every year for the SCI community if you are out and about at that point in time we would LOVE to have you come join us! July 17 Brighton ski resort, website We send our prayers for a speedy recovery and know that you are never alone! Kristen

  7. That's so awesome about you getting your sprite!!!

  8. Love this--LOVE IT!
    He really is touching so many lives, a missionary indeed!

  9. Ok. So I don't know any of you. But I have been following this story and blog everyday. I find myself hanging on every word and every post. I find myself adding the Hunsaker family to my prayers. I laughed with joy that Gates got his Sprite and even more when it was Epic. How do you do it? How do your parents, especially your mom handle the day to day? I can only guess that you all possess some higher level qualities. We lived in Bountiful 6 years ago. I wonder if our paths crossed? Brian and Cherie look so familiar. I do know LeeAnn Sulser. She told me the story of her son several years ago. I was in awe of her strength and positive fact I still am. Shes an amazing person. So how fortunate to have Brandon as your therapist!!! I will continue to follow this blog. I find hope and inspiration in every entry. I find i need to look beyond my own trials which are tiny in comparison. I find myself looking for ways to serve another during the day, even if it's in a small way. I am wondering who is writing it? And can we get more posts? :)