Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Happy Birthday My Love

I have so much to say to you, but for now, I felt to listen to this song as it is one that my Dad sang, and mostly wept through, at Keaka's farewell. 

I send the words to you now, and a picture of you and Grandpa, so that you know all that we wish for you today and everyday. 

(I'm not sure if you can see the picture, but I will be printing off a few and laminating them so you can keep them in your scriptures as you travel).

I will write again later, but this could not wait.  All of this song makes me cry as it was so tender when my Dad sang it.

I understand better today the way my own father's heart was expanding and breaking all at once now that I am the one who has sent my son on a mission.  Still learning...always will be. 

I love you my son. Thank you for breaking this heart of mine so I could find ways to strive to be a better person. 

Love you so much,

In the Hollow of Thy Hand

Dear Lord who blesses us with love
Please send this day thy spirit from above
As this thy son, accepts a call from thee
Help him we pray to learn humility

Direct his footsteps everyday
And keep him ever walking in thy ways
Inspire him as he spreads the gospel plan
Lord, hold him in the hollow of thy hand

In the hollow of thy hand as he grows from boy to man
Help his understanding deepen and increase
In the hollow of thy hand as he grows from boy to man
Let him know the special blessing of thy peace

Dear Lord, who hears and answers prayers
Please keep thy servant always in thy care
As he prepares to teach his fellow men
Oh keep him safe and bring him home again

Protect him from all worldly ways
And always send thy spirit when he prays
Give him the courage of a righteous man
Just hold him in the hollow of thy hand

In the hollow of thy hand as he grows from boy to man
Help his understanding deepen and increase
In the hollow of thy hand as he grows from boy to man
Let him know the special blessing of thy peace

As he faces life's demands
May he take a valiant stand
Give him shelter in the hollow of thy hand

Ikaika's Two Latest Correspondences

Happy Ikaika's 20th birthday everyone!  We received a letter from Ikaika on Saturday, but didn't get to read it until Sunday. It was an unexpected surprise to receive a second item yesterday in the mail.  We wanted to wait until everyone was together, but opened it this morning as we were anxious to hear from Ikaika. 

His letters have been transcribed and sent on to family and friends, but I wanted to share some of his words here as well.  He's just so sweet and still so much his very precise self :)  We love him so much! 

Remember if you want to email Ikaika, his email address is:ikaikaolahui.danner@myldsmail.net. 
He will be in the MTC through May 13, 2013 - flying out to Philadelphia on May 14, 2013.

Members of the family and a few friends have taken advantage of the same day delivery to the MTC service by the Post Mart in Provo :)  I'm looking forward to Ikaika getting his birthday bag today! 

Without further adieu, here are his letters then mine :)


May 1, 2013 Letter

Dear Family/Everyone,

Today was a great day.  I have felt The Spirit so much more so than I have ever felt in my life at any point. 

Like we thought Mom, my companion is Elder Health J. Madsen.  We only have two room-elders, Elder Cavanah and Elder Gosper.  They are going to Tucson, Arizona just like the rest of my district. 

We had the opportunity to almost sit in on group teachings with big groups (almost 90 of us) where we just had the opportunity to feel the Spirit and write down impressions we had as well as talk to the investigators.

The last rotation of that, Elder Madsen and I had the opportunity to just "knock" on the door to enter the investigator setting.  We ended up speaking to him after and were almost late to our next meeting.  I had to talk to him before I left and I am glad that I followed my feelings to do that.  I can't wait to keep learning here and feeling the Spirit of the Lord.

I'm supposed to sleep now so in closing  I love you guys.  I know that I am where I am supposed to be.  You will be blessed as I am here.  God loves you all so much.  Please try to see that as best as you can, and it you can't, you are not looking hard enough. 

I know the church is true.  I know that God lives.  I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God.  Read it for guidance and I know it will help you.  Once again, I love you all and thank you for getting me here.

E. I. Danner - Elder Danner
Be Strong like I Know You are


May 3, 2013 Card 
(The outside of the card says: My Whole Heart Jumps for Joy...All Because of You!)

Dear Family,

Today is P-Day already.  I was assigned as the DL (District Leader) last night.  I know it is so I can help and learn to help others.  It is a serving opportunity and I hope I will do a good job. 

This is a cheesy card so don't look into the silly picture too much.  You do make me happy and I am grateful for your love and support. 

We all go through hard things, but your attitude will determine how you get through it.  A bitter heart is poisonous to the mind and soul. 

We all have room for improvement so don't forget to look for ways to be better.

After I was assigned as the DL, I wanted us to meet really quick so we went to the classroom to get our stuff.  I had a quick thought as well as said a prayer. 

As we gathered our things, the sisters asked for blessings.  We will be doing that today after the temple.  We are fasting to prepare and we are hoping to have guidance as we do this for them.  It is so important that we do.

You can share these "family letters" with anyone as well.  I love you all and I know the Lord is blessing you.

E. I. Danner - Elder Danner

My District:
Elder Danner        
Elder Madsen   
Elder Cavanah   
Elder Gosper   
Sister Barnes   
Sister Hendricks   
Sister Black      
Sister Clark        
Sister Craig     
Sister Allred


Email Sent on May 6, 2013: Happy Last Day of Being a Teenager!

Good Morning Elder Danner!

I couldn't help but jest at this being your last day as a teenager...life goes by quick, we've got to enjoy even the silliest of things like your last day of 19 years old :P

How are things going?  We received your letter of May 1, 2013 in the mail on Saturday.  It was good to see your hand writing and to hear your testimony. 

I love that the work is making sense to you and that you are sensitive to the spirit that you are immersed in.  How wonderful :)

Oh yeah, and I was totally tickled to hear that Elder Madsen, who's name we save at Missionary Mall, is your companion haha That is so awesome!

Things around here are the same, except that everyone in the family keeps talking about how much they miss you :) 

It has been really amazing to me, to get texts or posts from our family members saying that they are crying and so filled with love.  Even the hardest hearts are softened. 

Maybe I'm looking too hard, but it seems so obvious to me that our family is being blessed with a tenderness that it may have been missing, because you are out there serving.  I like to think this is a good wake up and remember call for all of us, to know and be grateful for what matters most.

Here are some of my favorites from the family thus far:

Texts with Haruko:
H: How do I email he who shall not be named?
Me: Haha I just fwded you his address :)
H: Crying like a baby. I miss that kid.
Me: Awwww :( I did that earlier :(
H: I'm so happy for him
Me: Yeah he sounds like he is doing well.  That is such a huge relief
H: Today I drove past the mtc on my way to work and was fingers crossed hoping I might see his face. Nope. Probably best.  I might have slammed on my breaks, choloroformed him, and thrown him in my trunk.

Facebook Posts from Kamalani and Yukiko and Haruko and Kekoa:
Khom Jhana: Just wrote Kaika...yeah, I cried.

Yukiko Hanamaikai: He's so great. You can't help but be proud of him.

Yukiko Hanamaikai: And my first email is sent. Khom aka Kam...I cried too.

Haruko Hanamaikai Boren: I miss that kid so much.  Its hard walking past his room and seeing it empty of all of the crap his little hoarder self possessed.  Two years. I loves that Mr. Elder.

Kekoa Danner Status: Emailin the lil bro! Love doing that ISH!!! Makes my heart warm and fuzzy lol #fuzzywuzzies #femaleemotiins #elderdanner #PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaMission #longest2yearsofmyvida

Other friends have posted nice things as well:
Cyndi Jordan Good job letting him go, Mama! He'll be a great missionary!!

Barb Mahleres LOVE This!!!! (It was the picture of you me and Koa dropping you off)

Tara Pualilia Hernandez: Safe travels Ikaikaolahui Danner! Many blessings - you will be amazing!


Mrs. Abbott asked for your mailbox number, so I gave that to her.  She is such a neat lady :)

I hope these messages will warm your heart and help you to know that you are so loved :) 

Yesterday at church, Madisen and I were looking in to see where everyone was sitting, and she pointed to someone who had dark hair in the back...I realized she had been looking for you.  I got a bit "mommer weepy" for a moment, but it made me happy that she associates church with you.

I think the First Counselor in the ward, he was at your setting apart, came up to me and asked about how you were doing.  I told him that were doing so well, that you had gotten right to work and that they had made you a DL. 

He just beamed and said that it didn't surprise him, that you are a leader and how great it was to hear that you are doing well.  I appreciate their care and concern for you.  Thank you for writing me briefly so I could update them.  I am glad to have things to say and report back to those who are behind you :)

Kekoa brought Melissa and Kiana over on Saturday.  Kekoa also pulled out his phone and showed me his long email from you hahaha He was so proud of it, you know Kekoa, "What, you didn't get a letter this long? Yep..." haha

I honestly am not concerned about how long or short your letters may be, you know that I know you love me, so its just good to hear that you are well.  But it sure made a difference to Kekoa haha.  Thank you for taking the time to be so communicative with him.  He loves you so much!

For now, you are in super learning mode, so the quick check in works for me :)   I do look forward to hearing of your experiences as you feel to share them and you have time.  I just want you to know that I am totally supportive of you having a great mission. 

You have a lot of light and love to share, but be sure not to run or write faster than you can walk :P  Be wise with your energies and take care of yourself so that you can be the most effective instrument of God that you can be okay my son :)

I'm going to send you a package tomorrow for your "first day of 20" birthday :)  I want to be super fun, but I am also aware that perhaps going too over the top may make other missionaries feel homesick, so I'll do my best to balance both loving you but being sensitive as well :) 

If there is anything you need or would like for your birthday, please feel free to let me know.  You know I'll get it for you haha :) 

I love you son :)


Friday, May 03, 2013

For the Next Two Years...

I have decided to use this blog as the place where I will chronicle the next two years of my youngest son, Ikaika Danner, LDS mission. I may make a few minor edits, but overall, this is where I will be able to share what we talk about as he is away.

It is a great joy to me to be able to share my heart this way.  I hope that it will be an enjoyable, insightful and perhaps even fun read for whomever may happen upon this blog :)

So, here we go...

May 2, 2013

Hola Baber...I mean, Elder Danner :)

How are you doing? I hope you are well :)  I'm sure you are, but you know your Mommer, I hope it every other minute :) 

I found it relieving that yesterday when you opened the door that you had a friend there to receive you. I felt like that was a blessing.  Of all of the hosts we could've stopped by, there was someone who knew you.  I am grateful for every tiny, merciful, loving blessing, especially as it pertains to you.  I told Sheri, he went from the arms of his family into the hands of his friends.  Beautiful :) 

Anyways, I hope your first night was good.  Around 10:40 p.m. the Mommer cried cause she was thinking of you laying in bed, perhaps a little sad but trying not to be; the realization of the reality of your choice to go on a mission just may have been pretty real when you were going to sleep, and so I, like many mothers before me, wept a little as no mother wants their child to suffer, even one iota of sadness.  

I don't mean for that to be a sad message from home, just that I do think of you and I pray so much that you will feel every bit of comfort and confidence that you can, even in the sad times that may come up.

As you know, we appreciate the sweet because we have known the bitter...i.e. knowing sadness can really help us appreciate and seek joy, and be more patient and understanding of others who are in the middle of their sad times.  That is something that I've been grateful to have in my life.  I hope it is something that will help you as well.  

I went to set up your iPad yesterday, but I need a passcode.  I was still able to access the songs though.  I think some of the music must be Kekoa's, but there are definitely songs in there that are you to me.  What a dear you are :)  

I was glad to get that package to you yesterday.  I laughed at myself thinking that it had only been 3 hours and I had already sent you a care package haha What a delight it is to love you and get to dote on you this way.  It makes me so happy to be able to put my love for you to work :) 

Last night I went to Keoni's band concert.  Afterwards, Sheri, Heather, Haruko and I were going to go to dinner.  I texted Kekoa and he, Aubrey, Kaleo and Lori came and had dinner with us too.  It was very nice to be together, especially last night.  It makes me proud that we all have such fond and loving memories of you.  Do you know what a blessing you are and have been to this family?  It just brings happy tears to my eyes.  We've been so blessed to have you <3 div="" nbsp="">

I asked Aubrey to add me on FB so I could get her email address and include her in the list of people to whom I forward your progress.  She messaged me and said thank you for raising such an amazing person.  ...it makes me happy that there is someone who calls you "best friend" and cares for you so much.  

I sent her a link to my blog also, with a note that said, if you want to read a bit more about the boys, that she could check it out.  Some of my tenderest memories live in that blog.  I'm so glad that you read it a while ago.  

I read the post I wrote for your 18th birthday.  I'm still as smitten as I ever have been to be your Mom :)  I know you know I love you, but here is some niceness so you remember: 

"To my sons:  "Warrior King from Heaven" and "Prophet Who Rules with the Strength of Many Nations in his Blood". Once my babies, now young men still growing.  

Everyday, no matter where you are, I am aware of you and sending you all the love I have and hoping that you remember.  

I want you to remember what you've learned by being the sons you are.  I want you to live well and make the best choices you can for yourselves, for your families and if possible, to make this world a brighter, better place because you have been here.  

 ...I love you both.  Thank you for being my heart all of these years."

I hope you have a wonderful day and know that you have so many people who love and support you.  If you need anything from me, please let me know.  Otherwise, quick notes work too, as I know you are super busy!

All my best and love, 



May 3, 2013 

Dear Mommer,
This has to be short because we spent our personal time giving blessings to the Sisters in our district. I love you mom. Share the letters that are coming your way. Thank you so much mom for being there for me. I love you and know that I care for you so much. ... I know I am where I am supposed to be. And FYI I am the DL(District Leader) I said that in the letters so look there for that. I did get the packages so thank you so much. I love you. Take care of your family.
Elder Danner



Thank you for taking the time to write me.  You're so thoughtful!  This made me soo happy!  I am amidst planning your birthday package and this email popped up.  ...  I'm so proud that you would use your personal time to help others.  That really made me happy! 

Also that you know you are where you are supposed to be.  That just makes my heart smile...what a blessing it is to know that you are doing what you should be.  ...if/when things get tough, you will have that confirmation to lean on, to keep you strong and help you know that you are equal to all that...has and will be put before you.  

I am also very proud to hear that you are a DL!  You have been such a good example and have a talent for caring for others.  I hope that it will be a wonderful experience for you.  I hope that all of our love from home will buoy you up so that you can share the  fullness you have with others who need it.  We are all so very blessed...thank you for choosing to serve this mission.  

Thank you so much for loving me.  I missed you a lot today, but I know it is because we love each other...I'm so grateful for that.  Thank you for being such an inspiration to me and others around you.  

Stay strong Elder Danner!  Shine Bright! And love every minute of this time.  No one tells you that even the hard times of your life will someday be a fond memory :)  Crazy as it sounds, I'd give anything to have a baby Koa and a baby Kaika in diapers again, begging me for Nonalds/B'Donalds :* 

I look forward to many more years of good times together and even this short time that we'll be apart as I know we are all where we should be :) 

I love you son!