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:email@example.com.
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
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!)
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.
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
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
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!
Dee Nelson: ELDER DANNER, GRANDMA DYNAH LOVES U!
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 :)