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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:

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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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Nerf, conference, mid-terms, etc

It’s been a great, fantastic week! Things have been chugging a long and don’t show any signs of slowing down. Both good, and bad.

The workload from school continues to progress and increase. Midterms are getting closer and closer and the number of project and essays is increasing. ROTC is still taking up my Thursdays and trying to take my weekends, my job takes my mornings, I have class through the afternoon, and homework taks my evenings. I have little time for much else.

This past weekend was General Conference, my mission reunion, several Nerf events, and I had numerous people contact me about buying Nerf guns from me and having me build them for them. It’s been busy.

Friday night I went to a Mod Party where a bunch of people came together to modify and build Nerf guns. I finally learned a little about modified flywheel and electric blasters, but most of my time was spent helping others build homemade blasters and trying towork on commissions that people had bought from me but hadn’t been finished yet. I worked on these through the night and the following Saturday morning, we left early to take part in the first Human vs Zombies event of the UNFF. It was amazing fun with A TON of running. I was a human for half of it and a zombie for half. One great thing was I was able to be a ‘spitting’ zombie for some of it and was still able to shoot a little. I ran around with a sword and a small pistol which was a ton of fun. We then played NIC (Nerf-internet Community) rounds with higher powered blasters and I was able to give out my blasters for loan and the people who took part had a ton of fun. Sadly, a lot of regulars weren’t able to make it so it wasn’t a large group, but was definitely a good start for NIC with the UNFF. We went to eat at Famous Daves and in the evening we went to an arena of a new UNFF member, Derek. He came to see how things were run, but ended up having a really great time. We played with stock, unmodified blasters in the small arena and played games such as Murder and Trouble in Terrorist Town (TTT). It was a full, entire day of Nerfing from Modified blasters with HvZ, highpowered blasters with NIC, and stock with indoor. A full variety and a ton of fun. If you’re free, come join in!

On to General Conference. I wasn’t able to watch the Saturday or Priesthood sessions live, but have been catching up. The talks that stood out to me the most were on family, getting through trials, growing from tribulation. I felt so uplifted by conference. With all the unfortunate and challenging things that are happening day-by-day, it’s easy to feel discouraged. Despite this, God knows who we are, our potential, and how to help us. For example, families. All of the major things that you see people struggle with. The big things and often life-changing things, there are guidelines and help that He has given us. I felt the Spirit urging me to pay attention to the talk(s) on covenants, the temple, and families. The center of the Church, the purpose of the Gospel, and what Heavenly Father wants for us is to have celestial families for eternity and have true joy. He has given us clear direction and divine revelation through the Family Proclamation and other sources.

I was also very impressed with Priesthood session. Everyone time I listen to, read, or hear stories in conference and the talks, I am reminded about who I am and about what each of us Priesthood holders have in terms of responsiblity and power. We’re constantly reminded and warned and exhorted to never forget the divine calling that we have, that each of us have, as holders of the Priesthood, as children of Him, as members of the Church, as people who know truth, as those who have testimonies, and those who have made covenants. He has given us tremendous responsibility and tremendous trust. He loves us. He has entrusted us with His power and gifts of the Spirit. It’s up to us to live up to that. I remember a general authority mentioned how we may want to curl up under the covers and be afraid, but He has also enabled us to accomplish and live up to our potential. We can do it.

I’m so excited to be able to continue to study these talks over the next months. As I walked to school, was at work, or working on Nerf blasters, I’ve switched to listening to these conference talks instead of just listening to music. I’m so thankful for the words of living prophets that we have that guide us in these latter days.

Derrikk Sun

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A Relaxing Week

On Wednesday, instead of going to institute, our ward had a special activity where we went to the museum of a friend in the ward and got to see a lot of rare books. The owner had Joseph Smith’s own personal copy of the Book of Mormon, several first edition prints of books as well as signatures, and numerous books that belonged to famous people throughout history from George Washington, Marie Antoinette, and King James’ own copy of the first King James Bible. It was really cool to hear the stories behind each book. One such story was of the very first missionary and the very first convert to the church. He had the very book that Samuel Smith used on his mission. You could tell that books such as these had been places and had stories to tell.

The fun outing of the week was watching the LEGO Batman movie. It was as humorous as expected and had a great message too. We all need friends and our families are what’s most important to us. I would definitely recommend watching it.

This past Friday we had another indoor Nerf war in a church. The church we went to this time had a small upper level and basement. It was way cool. The hallways and church in general were smaller than our regular, but it would have been a really fun regular and not advanced war.

I’ve done a lot of 3D printing in attempts to finish a an all 3D printed Nerf blaster. It looked nice, but it wasn’t quite strong enough. I dropped it at the Friday war and it broke into several pieces. We’ll try reprinting it a little stronger next time. But here’s what it looks like:

RHD this week was good, even though we only had 7 people. We split into two groups and I and another project director worked exclusively on the house of a woman who didn’t have any family to help her. It felt good to help someone who really, really needed it.

I’m also officially a volunteer at the MTC.

This weekend, I’ll be able to meet together with my family for the first time since being back from my mission. We’ll also go to a family friend’s wedding. I’m so excited!

See you next week,
Derrikk Sun

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Happy Mother’s Day!

At this time I feel really blessed. I feel incredibly blessed to have an amazing family and friends that love and support me. I feel blessed that Heavenly Father has sent so much in our lives to help and support us. He leads and guides in all that we do, if we let Him.

Friday was my birthday and it’s the first birthday that I realized that it’s not just a celebration of another year older, but it’s also a celebration of building and growing relationships over the past year. It’s a remembrance of all of the combined experiences over the past year that helps shape who we are. What we do, what we say, and what we experience creates the type of person we are. I’m grateful for all of the experiences I’ve had thus far and look forward to the rest of the year. I don’t think I’ve ever had a birthday as good as this one, and I thought as you got older they got less important. On the contrary, as you get older, I guess you see things in a different perspective.

At this time, one year ago, I was in Thailand with some of the most kind and wonderful people I know. I was called as a missionary to gather the tribes of Israel and bring the Gospel to those who did not have it. Innumerable blessings come through the Gospel which God has given us and that Christ taught. I feel those blessings in abundance in my life. By being a missionary, we focus on bringing the Gospel to others, but in reality, when we focus on loving others, we’re actually being blessed ourselves.

I know that God lives. He has a plan for us and loves each one of us. He does not let His children go astray if they will follow Him and serve Him. He has given us all we need in order to succeed and have joy. #findyourjoy #thekeytohappinessis…

Happy fantastic mother’s day to the most fantastic mother!!! I don’t know a single person who is more Christ like, kind, or more of a righteous example than my mom. I remember the day I received my patriarchal blessing. The stake patriarch asked me to share some thoughts on mother. Before I could even say anything, just thinking about what to say, I started to tear up and felt just how great of a woman and mother she truly was. Someone who sacrifices so much, everything, for her family and for Christ. I’ve never seen someone so diligent and persistent in her calling and in visiting and serving others. I hope that one day I can be like her.

Mother’s day is also not just a day to celebrate those who have children. Every woman is a special daughter of God with great potential. All are mothers in Zion. They might not have children, but are still capable of nurturing, loving, and supporting like a mother. I’m so incredibly grateful for all the amazing women in my life. They make me want to be a better, more Christ-like person. Women are natural nurturers. They have more charity and a sense of caring for others that is pure. I see a virtuous woman and I can practically see Heavenly Mother in their countenance. Thank you. Thank you so much to all the mothers in Zion out there. Know that you are divine in nature and have an even greater influence than you think.

“You are braver than you believe. Stronger than you seem. And smarter than you think” – Winnie the Pooh

Yesterday was also another monthly general UNFF war event. It was really fun. This past week I worked on and finished four different Nerf projects. I had several people ask me about blasters and it looks like I’m going to keep myself pretty busy with building things. At the event yesterday, several people were interested as well and I was able to sell some blasters and darts on the spot. What a great unexpected blessing. As time goes on, we’re hoping to be able to maybe start doing some NIC style events (more powerful blasters). It’s pretty crazy. I started a clipfed homemade, and then finished it two days later. I need to find time to do more testing and experimenting before I keep selling these off. I’d love to keep one for my self.

Projects for the week
-Advanced UNFF war on Friday
-Translate for church app
-MTC interpretation
-Prepare to sell pull-back homemade, pumpaction homemade, homemade bow
-Testing and redesign clipfed
-Experimenting with different barrel materials
-Reworking bullpup design

Have a great week and don’t forget to call your mothers!!

Derrikk Sun

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A week of studying before finals….and Nerf!

This pat week marks the end of the last regular week of the semester. This week will be a short one in preparation for finals next week. It’s super stressful! With that said, we made great use of this last week and did some de-stressing. That means Nerfing. It was a super fun event and I actually got some decent footage and I compiled into a simple video.

This past week has been pretty full, as usual. There’ve been several things that I’ve forgotten to do, spaced out on, or have been too busy to get to. It’s been kind of hectic, but somehow we manage to survive through it all. I’m very grateful for all of the amazing resources we have that help us along the way. From good professors, willing counselors, and even just solid friends and family. I don’t think there has been a time in my life where I’ve been so tired, but yet so satisfied (except for a mission, of course).

Something that has really struck me this past week has been learning more about the desegregation and rights movements in the United States in my American Heritage class. We watched a moving film about it and I felt strongly for the cause that so many people have fought for before. That people would be forced to face such hardships and trials through no doing of their own, solely based on their race and circumstance is just so wrong. It made me desire to serve more and to somehow help those people.

Also, in my biology class, we don’t learn much biology. But we do learn much about life in general. My professor had a bit of a personal moment when a day in class he told us that that day, a few years ago, he had one of his best and most likely students commit suicide. She had graduated, grown up, got married, and had two kids at the time. He was very emotional about it and said at the end of it all, and the end of the semester, all of this, it really doesn’t matter. Finals, grades, and it all doesn’t mean very much. What’s important is that we figure out what matters most, and work on that. If in the end, what truly matters is not in a right state, than everything else doesn’t matter much. He gave some moving thoughts on life and what he’s experienced and I don’t think there’s been a day where I’ve paid more attention in my Biology 100 class.

There’s so much that happens every week, but I’m learning to make the most of each day as it comes and to trust in the Lord. Which ever path He lays for me and has in store for me, is the path that I seek the most and must strive to do the best. I don’t know yet what that path is or entails, but it starts with every step we make today.

I love you and hope you have a great week,
Derrikk Sun

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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