By Sister Connie Smith Hall (C Larene Hall)
I feel so honored that Keith asked me to come back as a guest blogger to tell you what I have been doing with my life since August 22, 2012. I have actually missed my weekly blog and I’m not sure why I ever stopped other than the fact that life got crazy and priorities changed.
My last blog on LDSWritersBlogck was about persistence. I’ve always believed in being persistent and as my blog said I was going to the gym regularly. I continued to do that because when I went I felt better. Most of the other original bloggers had quit blogging and somehow I also quit, but I continued to write.
Just two days after that blog I announced on my personal blog clhall.blogspot.com that my first book in my “A Magical Journey to the Past” series was coming out in September. The name of the book was “Mary’s Spyglass”, and was published by Idea Creations Press.
My book signing was on September 8, 2012 and it was in honor of my husband whose birthday would have been that day. He was always a huge support of my writing before he passed away March 15, 2011. We had a huge pirate party with most of my family helping with games, refreshments and other things that were needed. Some of them even dressed the part.
I continued to write on my personal blog sometimes but I was not consistent, and my last post was on May 7, 2013. I was trying to get my next book ready for publication. The second book in “a Magical Journey to the Past” series came out the end of June 2013. It is called “Crusaders of Warwick Castle.” I once again had a book signing party at my home and my family helped with games, refreshments, and once again some dressed the part of characters in the book.
It take a lot of time to promote books and to do book signings. I was still working my part time job and fulfilling my church callings. I was trying to help other authors promote their books by reading and giving book reviews. Life got crazy and I knew I had to find time to write my books that were demanding to be written. There are only so many hours in a day and with my personal, working, and church life there was no time left over. I’ve always been big on time management and I knew something had to go. It didn’t matter if it was something I enjoyed I just couldn’t fit anything more into my life at that time. Blogging and book reviews had to go.
My next book, “Friends for a Season” is written, and it has been edited, but I haven’t had the time to finish the corrections. It is not in the series, but a stand- alone book. I didn’t want to put it aside but I found something else that was beaconing me and just couldn’t put those feelings aside any longer. I thought for a couple of years that if I served in the Temple that would be good enough, but soon learned that it wasn’t all that I was supposed to do. I’m not getting any younger and since I have always wanted to serve a mission for my church I put my personal things aside and did all that I needed to do to turn in papers for a mission.
I’m excited to be serving in the Independence Missouri Mission. I entered the MTC on October 13, 2014. It’s not easy to leave home and family behind. Couples have each other but single sisters are mostly alone except for God, and strangers. I know they don’t stay strangers for long, and you do have a companion, but it’s not the same as having family and friends nearby. Thank goodness I get to call them.
I have no idea why I decided to serve for 18 months, but that is what I agreed to do. I didn’t realize how much I would miss home and all my friends. When winter hit I was sure that I had made a huge mistake. I don’t like COLD weather. I have a hard time staying warm on a hot day. Somehow by learning to wear layers I survived. No, I’m not looking forward to another winter here but there must be a reason that I’ve been sent here and I’ll stay and find out why.
Missouri is a wonderful place. I love the small town Albany that I’m living in. The branch is small and the people here are great. I serve in the community a couple of times a week and I love all the people here. It doesn’t matter what church they belong to, they are all God’s children. On warm days I enjoy walking and meeting new people and animals, mostly dogs. I’ve never seen so many squirrels, or eagles, and I guess there is a fox living nearby. If you haven’t already guessed we are out in the country near the Iowa boarder. We do lots of driving to visit the less active people that live in our branch. Many of them have long drives to come to church.
My book will be ready for publication when I get home, and hopefully I will have others almost ready for editing. I do have some time to write, but I have to be careful and not overdo it. I still have to do the missionary work here, attend meetings and spend lots of time studying.
I guess what I’m trying to tell each of you is that you do have to be persistent in what you do, but you also need to know that goals and priorities do change and you do need to look at your life regularly and make the adjustments that are best for you and your family. What is good for me might not be good for you. For me serving the Lord on a mission seems like the right thing to do at this time. I know He has put me here for a reason and if I pray continually that purpose will come to pass.