It’s been hard for me to write a post recently. I’ve been busy with school and when I do get a chance, I never write anything I like enough to post. I’m not sure why.

A few weeks ago, I took a trip to Vaala, Finland for the day to give a number of presentations to the students at the school there. I talked about the Finnish community in the US where I’m from, and I discussed some other topics with students as they suggested them. In the end I presented for the whole school day. Overall, I think it went rather well. I was happy to talk with the students, and I hope they learned something. The teachers I talked with were quite interested in me and pleased I had come to speak (I had come by invitation). I thought it was interesting that people wanted to hear about the things I shared.

After giving all those presentations, I went to a hockey game in Oulu. It was interesting to watch. The players seemed to play more sloppily than I was used to, and the teams weren’t the best in the league, but they were evenly matched, which made for a interesting game.



My Finnish is improving. I would say that there is a very noticeable difference from when I first arrived. Now, I’m able to follow basic conversations, random dialogue, questions, and I can guess the meanings of Finnish words with reasonable success. Last week I met a young woman who asked my host brother (who was with me at the time) if I could speak and understand Finnish, and I answered for him. It’s pretty cool. Learning Finnish was never at the top of my list of priorities, so it’s interesting to see how far I have come just by being here. Some people have advised that I push hard to learn and use the language, but I find that such effort isn’t necessary in the long term.

Speaking of priorities, my priority on this trip has always been to learn about as much as I can, because I feel that is one of the main reasons God has put me here. I think God put me here for other reasons as well, but I cannot know what they are, so I don’t focus on them so much. I just work on doing my best with whatever work is before me.

I have noticed that I no longer notice the differences between life here in Finland and life in the US. Everything is natural and normal. In a way, Finland has become another home to me. Here I have family, friends, work, routine, and everything I need for this part of my life. It’s fascinating, especially after only five months here. I have to credit God for this, he set it all up.

It’s interesting, how many things are interesting to me. I think it’s a good descriptor of things for me though. I think everything is interesting.

In the past while, I have been having trouble figuring out what to do or think about certain things or just in general. I think a lot, and it becomes difficult to keep track of what it right. To help with this problem, I’ve started a list to keep track of them. The list includes bits from the Bible that shed light on the subject, as well as some personal observations about how I work. I think it will be very helpful as time goes on. Whenever I wonder about something, I can read the list and remind myself of the things that I know.

One of the things I have noticed about myself over the past years is that I have a strong desire to love people I am near- to care for them, encourage them, help them, and so on. I think it’s great, but it is rarely reciprocated. This isn’t good, because people tend to want love reciprocated, and when it isn’t it can be depressing and/or frustrating. To try to solve this issue, I tried not loving the people I’m near to, but that puts me in a bad mood. I wonder if I had someone in particular that I could love and who would love me back would satisfy the desire…perhaps.

School is going rather well. I’m managing to do fairly well in all my classes. I’ve been learning how to use Photoshop and Illustrator in two of my classes, and that’s been exciting. I enjoy working with those sorts of programs. I’m getting pretty good at it too, in my opinion. Dancing is going well enough; we have been working on a waltz and a circle dance. I like it, but I wish it were more personal. (I have always seen dancing as more of a personal thing)

Christmas here in my home is a rather pleasant thing, in my opinion. We put up the tree this evening. People have been playing Christmas music now and then. We have a few decorations up around the house, here and there. There has been some variation in the food, which is nice. All the food tastes good.

My host family and I went to a singing of Christmas songs at church last Sunday evening. The idea was to sing Christmas songs and then donate to the charity that printed the lyric booklets used that evening. The event seemed to be rather popular, the church was full. I believe there were over a thousand people there. I think it’s interesting that so many people are interested in going to that event, but the normal Sunday service attendance is so much lower, at less than one hundred.

That’s all I have to say for now. Feel free to ask any questions, I’d love to help answer them for you. Have a great day 🙂




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