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It’s been an interesting week. It’s been busy too. We’re getting moved in and new roommates. New roommates means maybe it’s time for a new room. We’ve rearranged the living room and now it’s much more roomy and ready to receive guests! The kitchen is spruced up, and we’re getting things ready for next semester. It’s going to be a doozie! It’ll be the last semester before I submit my application to the Mechanical Engineering program and be starting all sorts of things.

In other news, it’s been pretty laid back with a lot of free time. With free time comes the issue of filling it. There’s one more week before the semester starts and other than work, there’s not very many activities going on yet. There’s plenty of time to get things settled in and figured out.

This past week I’ve felt very stressed with re-adapting to life before school starts. It’s always a big change and I have a habit of over worrying. I apologize if that has caused anyone any grief. Hopefully I’ll be able to adapt quickly and get back into the swing of things. Sometimes change is hard. Despite the overwhelming feelings of stress and worry, I’m incredibly grateful for the guidance and comfort that God give us access too. He sends help in many ways – often times in the form of people. I’m thankful for the people in my life. Through all that happens, it’s people that really matter. Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved. I’m going to work on this especially this semester.

I still have so much to learn in the coming future, more than I even realize, and I hope to be able to live up to the potential that has been given me.

I’ve felt so many answers and comfort come from prayer, scripture study, and church. With feeling overwhelmed and stressed, I didn’t know what to do. I came across several talks that were great answers to my questions. We’re here for a specific reason. Now is the time to become the person we want to be. Now. We most certainly WILL fail, at least in the short run. But it’s okay because every time we repent, we have a fresh start. No matter what trials we are faced with or mistakes we have made, God is still with us. If we really desire to have the strength and power into the trials of our lives, we absolutely need the ordinances and covenants from God. When God calls us, He prepares. Along the trail of life, we need to remember why we’re doing it. God’s plan for us is to grow and to become. Not just a list of accomplishments. God seeks to change our hearts and help us to become. Not just change our behaviors/actions, but change ourselves through faith and repentance. And the best time to start is NOW. (The Best Time to Plant a Tree)

Regarding prayer, I was impressed that many times we pray for strength, or courage, or the ability to endure. What would be the change if we prayed to have the Lord with us. We often ask for things, but how often do we ask for the Lord. After all, isn’t the gift giver greater than the gifts?

To add a little about when God calls us: When He calls, He prepares us. I thought of it as He has called us to live on this Earth now. He has called us at this time for a purpose. We may not know it precisely, but He has given us many callings. As Priesthood holders he calls missionaries, church leaders, and fathers. I never thought of it like this before, but hasn’t He called us to become fathers? Isn’t that an essential part of His plan? Then why wouldn’t He enable us and prepare us to become such? He does. He has. He is. This knowledge has brought me great comfort.

We receive so many blessings, but sometimes there comes for a time of trial. May we keep strong and keep the faith to endure optimistically.

Derrikk Sun

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Wow! How time flies!

I can’t believe that my time in Thailand is already over. Tomorrow morning I fly back to the states. It has been one truly amazing experience. Not only have I been able to take part in an internship and gain much experience with that, but I’ve been able to visit so many old friends, members of the church, and family here. It has been everything I thought it would be and more. I can’t decide what was the biggest highlight of my trip, but I can say that it was definitely worth every expense.

I was able to see new members of the church who are still active and have received so many blessings in their lives. It’s an amazing blessings to be able to see their lives change and continue to change. They are examples to me in so many ways. They live such simple lives with very little, but are still able to keep positive and stay strong. I recently visited an area of Thailand that had faced much hardship this year with the monsoon season. Many areas had been flooded and had drastically changed the lives of these people. I’m close friends with a few of them whose houses were inaccessible or whose entire belongings were destroyed and forced to live in rented housing for the time being. Despite so much hardship, they still look towards God and are thankful for what they do have.

Having traveled alone through the northeast of Thailand, I was able to see firsthand how the people lived their daily lives, something I never really had the opportunity to experience as a missionary. As a missionary, we were always well looked after by the church and our leaders. Our houses (for the most part), all had running water, air conditioning, were clean, bug free, and were, by local standards, pretty luxurious. I traveled alone hopping from one province to the next. At each place, I stayed with local families were, although were not always very well off, were also super friendly, kind, open, and welcoming. It took my a while to get used to the differences in living conditions, but I’ve grown to look towards these people’s view of optimism. Many places had no warm water, no real shower, no clean bathroom, no air conditioning, make shift kitchens, houses that were questionably sound, basic food, and had so little, but the people were also so happy and willing to give what they had to a traveler who only knew them for a few short months or less. I learned a lot these past weeks. Every where I went, it was like I was adopted into a new family. I’m terribly sad to leave.

Thanks everyone for the support and help in coming out here and having these experiences.

See you in America,
Derrikk Sun