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Always Looking Forwards

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is one that looks forwards. That’s such a great way to live life. Which each day and experience that passes, the future is even brighter. Every week, so much happens, changes, grows, and advances. The birth of a new baby boy, the brainstorming of ideas, new friends meeting in a park to have fun, the growth of new friendships, cooking new things, each day is filled with new experiences. The future is as bright as your faith.

This past week my roommate and I have started talking more about Nerf. Maybe trying to form a Nerf club here at BYU. The biggest issues are legal liability, but if people can come play lazer tag, maybe Nerf is similar. There seems to be some interest out there. We had our three day weekend for spring break and my roommate and I used the time to get some Nerfing done. I’ve reorganized the storage room and it’s big enough for a workbench and quite spacious. I anticipate I’ll spend quite some time there over coming spring. We threw together an impromptu Nerf war this past Friday and will hopefully be able to build up some sort of excitement amongst these college goers.

Just yesterday, my sister had her baby! It’s a boy! She was due in April, but I guess the little tike couldn’t wait. Being able to see a new born in my immediate family was such an incredible experience. It’s so life changing. I’m sure it’s even more so for her and her husband, but I can’t help but feel like heaven has gotten just a little closer. Like a small piece of heaven has just entered their lives, and it has. It’s so incredible.

This Friday is a special Bi-Ward dance that I’m in charge of making flyers for. I’m not too artsy, but luckily the dance isn’t too fancy. The theme will be dress up as if you were in your favorite decade. I don’t think there’s a decade I like more than this one, but maybe I’ll find some neon colors I like.

I had my second interview for the MTC this past week, too. I found out a few days later that I didn’t get the position. I was actually really disappointed. However, I figure it just means there’s something better out there that I need to be doing. Now to just find that. The options are many.

This past Tuesday for club night there was a special club showcase night where we got to see various people’s talents. It’s so cool to see what people are able to do from dancing, to singing, to magic tricks. I was really impressed. God has really blessed us with such diverse abilities.

As far as developing abilities, I tried my hand at making some Pad Thai. It turned out better than I actually thought it would. It took several times longer than expected and had several really interesting experiences along the way, but it ended up being okay. I can confidently say that I now know how to actually cook. Maybe not the most efficient way or the way that most people would cook, but I can survive!

There was no RHD this week because of spring break, but Under Water Robotics (UUR) is coming along nicely. We might be done by the competition next week. We just need to find a good sized pool to test run them in. The middle school kids we help are so cool. I was told a lot about them. A lot of them come from less than ideal circumstances and what not. Middle school often is a hard time for some kids. I’d hear about kids who suffer from really low self esteem or poor conditions at home. I find great joy in helping these kids just have a few moments of fun with us as they apply themselves to robotics. They have a good time and are really setting them selves up for a good future. They just don’t know it yet. I find it crazy for kids as young as they are to be worried about and stressed over problems in the future that are so far away. It makes me realize just how over-worried and unfaithful we are sometimes. These kids are brighter than the average middle schooler. I had no idea what soldering even was when I was their age, and yet here they are being involved.

This past Saturday and Sunday we had our stake conference, too. It was so filled with the Spirit. We had a member of the 70 come and visit. They did a Q & A that was quite insightful. The theme was to come unto Christ and there were some great talks about recognizing and following the Spirit. One of the greatest messages that I got out of it was that while we might not know everything, we know enough. Sister Neilson shared how she rarely knows what she’s going to talk about when assigned to give a talk, but every time, the Spirit gives to her what she needs to say. It’s our task to learn how the Spirit works with us in our lives and to learn to recognize and follow the Spirit. It’s like how well can the Spirit of the Lord trust us to follow those promptings. As we learn to follow them more, we’ll be able to receive and recognize them more. The biggest obstacle to this process is fear. If you have fear, you have no faith. If you have faith, you can have no fear. Imagine the freedom of living your life without fear. We can’t have faith and fear. We need to move forward with faith in Jesus Christ. Many times I think I’m faced with all kinds of fears about the future, but as we take courage and trust that everything will work out, we can just face the trials we have with optimism and overcome them. Have faith! And trust the Lord.

Aside from the usual mischief that we get into, not much has happened. There are still regular exams, lots of homework, and plenty of things to keep ourselves busy. BYU is still my favorite school for the combination of spiritual and temporal.

Love,

Derrikk Sun
เดอร์ริค ซัน

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Scruffy Looking Nerf-herders

We had two Nerf wars this Friday and Saturday. It was so fun to have the first outdoor wars of the year! It’s getting so warm out! I got the chance to test out the new builds and was quite satisfied. The Friday war ended up being a bit impromptu with my sister and her friends. I didn’t plan on joining in, but was glad I did. I mostly ran around and helped other people with their blasters, but I enjoyed seeing everyone having fun. On occasion, I’d join in and take shots. We played in an open double tennis court. It was a night war, but it was lit up okay.

The Saturday night war was with Utah Nerf Foam Flingers. It was a smaller war, with only a few more advanced Nerfers there. The UNFF hosts general wars and advanced wars every month. I got to see Kenny, my friend from Armageddon a few years back. He’s still Nerfing well. When we got there, the person scheduled to bring the key never showed up so we ended up playing in the parking lot. Luckily, it wasn’t too cold and pretty well lit (it was also at night). It was another great chance to get to run around in a more open environment; this time, without a sprained ankle (although it’s still a bit swollen and sore).

This week, we’ve had exams, essays, and a lot of club activities. I feel like my English is still not where it used to and essays are hard to write. I’ve had a paper due in Biology and one in American History. The prompt for American History was on religion and government, which was a topic that was actually interesting to write. This next week, I’ll have an essay for my religion class due on “The Family: A Proclamation to the World”. I’m still not sure what I’m going to write it on, but it should be a good experience – I’ve never written a research paper on the subject of religion before. I’m actually quite excited for it.

I got to help out with middle school kids and underwater robotics this past week. We’ve worked on sheeting more roof with RHD (we’re almost done sheeting the whole thing now), translated for the LDS Gospel Library App (way fun), got to volunteer to translate for a four hours at the MTC for a new missionary, went to a Mechatronic’s club meeting and will hopefully be able to more fully participate next semester, went on a date to a Thai restaurant here which was a little less nerve-racking than I anticipated. However, we’ve both been to Thailand, interested in humanitarian work, and were passionate about Thailand, so that gave a lot to talk about. It was a successful first date that was not in a group.

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You’re a Child of God

Another great week! So much happens in college life that it’s hard to write it concisely. I felt inspired to share a few thoughts though.

Don’t ever underestimate the powerful or great example you have. So often, we fail to give credit where it is due and that goes for ourselves as well. There are so many influential people in my life and I’ve come to realize that many of them don’t even know how powerful that is. So think twice the next time you question your worth or wonder if you’re important. Remember, you are a child of God no matter how successful or unsuccessful you feel. No one can take that away and it will never change. In each and everyone of us is a bit of divinity that was purposefully placed there. We can use that special spark to uplift, enrich, and love others. No matter what happens, “let this sink in good and deep: You are a child of God”.

Here are some great talks!:
Blessed by My Faithful Sister
What It REALLY Means to Be a Child of God

I’ve been able to finish a few Nerf projects this week. All were projects started before my mission that are just now finally finished. I got to work in the Mechanical Engineering Projects Lab quite a bit this week and have learned a lot about the machines. After some safety tests and talking to the right people, I’ve also been able to gain access to the special student CapStone lab which contain’s senior projects. There’s much more to continue to learn. I was able to showcase some of the blasters made this week at a talent show that our ward put on. It looked like people had a lot of fun. There were so many talented people, I felt like I must have been at America’s Got Talent!

Most popular blaster: Crossbow. Best looking blaster: Pumpbow. Funnest blaster: Modified Nerf pistol. Most painful: modified air blaster.

Early in the week, on Monday, we had a ward bowling activity. It was very fun! Even though I bowled my worst game. In addition to the normal Rural Housing Development, this past week I also went to a few social dance classes. I’m slowly learning the standard waltz, tango, and some Latino dances. Dancing is hard! Hopefully I’ll be able to dance one day. I also got to go out and help middle school students build underwater robots. The robots have to submerge, open a PVC door, place a few weights in the pool, then retrieve an item from the bottom of the pool. I’ll get to help out every week. I still don’t really like kids very much, but it should be great to help the kids out. I also found out that the school used to have an archery club, but the old instructor had to stop teaching it because they got too busy. Maybe if I had some free time I could teach kids how to shoot a bow and arrow…hmm..

Apple beer. I swear.

That’s all that’s new this week. I’m working on decorating the apartment more and still volunteering to translate for the Church’s mobile app every week. This coming up week it looks like the free food is going to keep on coming strong and this Saturday is also the next Nerf war. Super excited.

I love you guys lots,
ลาก่อน farewell

Derrikk