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The Week Approaching Finals….

There’s been a lot to cram in before final exams. The weather has gotten a lot, a lot, colder over the past week. Colder than last year. Right in time for exams.

It doesn’t feel like much as happened out of the ordinary over the past week or so, which I should probably count as a blessing. School, work, hobbies, food, church. That’s about the majority of it.

At this time of year, everything has been focused on finals. I’m a FHE coordinator co-chair and the activities we’ve been having and have planned for the next week or so are low-key, low-stress, finals prep activities. Come and grab a snack, and get back to studying type of activities. On the note of church/spiritual, I’m still really enjoying my religion class and learn something new everyday. This past week our professor gave a great kind of example of how our spirits and bodies may work. In reading and discussing about physical and spiritual demands, he raised both his hands and made hand puppets. He said our body’s demands over our Spirit may look something like this. Fasting, like other physical needs, were brought to a new understanding and a new light from my BoM professor. Often times, our bodies are placed with much physical demands. He took his hands and made two hand puppets, one representing the spirit, and one the body. The body may say “I’m hungry!”. The spirit responds, “Okay. I don’t need to eat, but I like you and want to stay, so let’s go get something to eat”. The body may say “I’m tired, I’m thirsty.” The spirit will concede and allow our physical needs to be met. “I’m tired” “Well, I don’t need to sleep, but let’s go sit down and relax”. However, then our professor pointed out what would be likely to happen after this continues. The body will continue and continue to place its demands on the spirit. “Kiss her!” “Look at that picture!”. And if the spirit concedes to all of the physical feelings and needs that it places on it, we can quickly see how lopsided our lives would end up being. It made me really think about how hungry, tired, exhausted, stressed, and overwhelmed we may be. We may be tired and pushed to do things we may not feel capable, but it’s not just what we do, but also important what we’re becoming. If we’re tired, but keep trying and keep enduring, we’ll be able to grow. Both our bodies and our spirits can support and strengthen each other when we keep a balance. Our spirits don’t need to take breaks from the physical exertion, so surely we can tap into our spirits to find a source of strength that our physical bodies can’t supply. This insight really opened my eyes about the way that each of us can accomplish more and become more, by looking that things from more than one perspective. Spiritual and physical. My professor said it a lot better than I did, but that’s the gist.

As for Nerf, things have been good, despite not having the time to work on much. I’m continuing to sell blasters, kits, and parts regularly, but still haven’t found the time to sit down and work on anything new or even anything for myself. I’ve sold off most of my blasters and haven’t had time to make my own yet. I’m working on designing and building a homemade, clip-fed blaster that shoots mega darts (luckily most of the design has been made already, but I’ve had to remodel and design most of it anyways), a clip-fed homemade for myself, an all aluminum homemade, more rainbows (so I can actually use myself, but someone has already said they’d buy it), and have many more smaller projects to try to find the time to work on. Hopefully I”ll have some time over this coming holiday season to work on some personal projects, but I’ll likely spend much needed time with my family and relatives. School honestly eats up so much of your time, it’s amazing that anyone finds time to do anything else. Maybe I’m just really bad at time management this semester. Next semester, I’m planning on cutting back the number of credits I’m taking and going to try to have a more balanced plate. Updating this website more diligently will hopefully be one of those things that’s improved.

I’ve been using BYU’s 3D printers a lot and am really enjoying them. There’s so much freedom of creativity with them. If you can think it up, and do a little work with CAD, you can make it. And you can make it so many different colors. I’ve gone a bit overboard, but have a new dream of owning my own printer (along with a lathe, mill, bandsaw, etc).

I’ll keep it short and simple but try to do better at updating in the future,

Derrikk Sun

Also, you can find more updates on my new-ish Facebook page, Sun’s Guns: https://www.facebook.com/SunsSuperGuns/

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Midterms…homework…Nerf!

School has been…bearable for the most part. Homework is manageable with the help of study groups, online resources, and some late nights.

I’ve decided to try to actually take selling Nerf blasters a bit more seriously and am looking into an etsy shop and really spreading the word. I’ve added a new page to my blog, this blog, with a little online store. Take a look! I’m going to try to really keep on top of updating it regularly.

I think the only thing I write about is how stressful life can be and that we need to stay calm and focus on what’s important, but I can hardly seem to be able to do that. Haha.

One big highlight this week and the reason why this post is so late is that this weekend we had a Field Training Exercise with ROTC. We went out to Camp Williamson and lived life in the shoes of soldiers. We ran practice runs of formations and lanes. We practice iterations of ambushes, crossing linear danger zones, platoon attacks, sleeping outside in the cold in patrol bases, established objective rally points, ate Meals Ready to Eat, repelled, shot M16s, got instruction from some sergeants, rucked, and a whole bunch of other stuff. It was a great experience. When we got back, the wives of some of the soldiers, cadre, and cadets made a whole bunch of chili for us. We had rolls, cookies, pumpkin bread, and tons of chili. Despite just being able to eat free food, what was really touching was seeing the reaction of all of the people who were excited to see each other after a day or two of being apart. You could really see and feel the friendship, bonds, and love that they had. I am of course talking about the families, wives, and girlfriends of other cadets. While waiting in line to turn in some gear, some cadets were talking about how sometimes it’s awesome to go out with the guys on a great trip, do fun things, have freedom and not have anyone else to worry about, but they accepted and said after wards that, “but it’s times like these that make you kind of want a good relationship. Coming home and having someone waiting for you, someone to come back to and have someone there is just such a great feeling.” It reminds me of the lesson we had in relationships and dating class in Sunday school. It’s not that we can’t be happy if we don’t have someone else, it’s not that we can’t live alone and be happy, but having someone else to share our feelings and experiences with will help add to what we have now. We take our happiness and add it to someone else’s.

In life of relationship or marriage, we need to endure and have patience. Sometimes a lot of patience. Day by day, we have a lot we have to endure whether it be missing each other, disagreements, keeping commandments works through other problems, family, school, work, learning, living, finances, careers, children, etc, etc, etc the list goes on an on, but I love how the Gospel applies to everything. No matte work, school, relationships. We have to faith and believe, but if we make a mistake in something, we repent and try to earnestly do better. We make covenants with ourselves and others, and receive guidance from our Heavenly Father, we are patient and endure to the end, keep building up our faith and continue in this cycle as we strive to improve our selves. I love how much reassurance and support we receive from the scriptures. Alma 26:27 “Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success.” D&C 24:8 “Be patient in afflictions, for thou shalt have many; but endure them, for, lo, I am with thee, even unto the end of thy days.” God is always with us and will always give us strength if we place Him first and seek His help. As we read our scriptures, pray, fulfill our callings, and strive to become more Christlike everyday, we’ll be able to see more of His help in our lives.

Sorry for cutting this week short. I’ll try to make up for it later in the week.

Love you!
Derrikk Sun

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It’s approaching MIDTERMS…….

As things go along, we’re getting closer and closer to midterms. It’s a kind of stress that I’m sure makes many people go grey.

Somethings I’ve thought about are reemphasized from an Engineering Council Advisory meeting we had a few days ago for my ME EN class. We had people come in from several well-known companies and gave us advice into the hiring process and how to get started in engineering careers. A piece of advice they all shared in common was to find what we like to go and go for it. To be confident and go after whatever our dreams were. Or to get a dream if we didn’t have one. It made me think of a song from a certain Disney movie about people having dreams. Bonus points if you can guess it.

Because of mid-terms coming up and how likely it is that school is going to kill me, I find myself also thinking about how Heavenly Father will help us. We often hear if we have faith, we can see miracles. I thought of Joseph Smith’s teachings on faith. In order to have true faith and see miracles occur from our faith, we have to have three things.

1. A belief that God is real. This often isn’t hard for too many people. Many people already believe in some higher power.
2. A correct understanding of God’s character. God loves us. He is our father. He is able to help us and guide us in whatever it is we’re striving for. This understanding is often a bit harder for people to acquire.
3. A knowledge that one’s actions are in-line with God’s desire for them. We do what we can in order to follow Christ and to become more like Him. We are obedient, have charity, and are striving to do what He would view as right. This is the hardest to do.

We believe in God, we believe that He is capable of helping us, but are we doing what we need to in order to have real faith? In order to receive help from on high for our school work, Heavenly Father’s will for us would no doubt be for us to do all we can in order to achieve the grades we want. He will, of course, help us along the way, but requires us to do our part as well. “for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith”. The obstacles and trials that we face will be able to be overcome, but it always requires us to have hope, believe, and exercise faith through diligent action.

Also, General Conference was sooooo good!!! I’m going to try to study a conference talk a week and share what I learn here.

For ROTC, we practice procedure for what to do if contact is made with a hostile force. We simulated with paintball guns and went up in the mountains. It was a really fun, engaged exercise.

I’ve also finished some blasters that people have bought this past week. I’m still behind on some.

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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