Thursday, August 4, 2011

Fifteen years ago...

On August 4th 1996, I was baptized and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It's hard to believe that fifteen years has passed since that day. And it is to the decision that I made that day, I owe all the other good decisions that followed. The boy in the picture, Kyle, was one of my best friends at the time, and he not only introduced me to the church, but baptized me as well. I owe a lot to him, his family, and so many others from my branch in Rutland.

July 1998. Here I am at the Washington D.C. Temple with Kyle's family and a few ward friends. I received my endowments this day in preparation for my mission.

Good old MTC in Provo Utah. I entered on August 4th 1998 (interestingly enough on the same day I was baptized) and was there until October, learning Spanish and preparing to serve in the California Ventura Mission. I briefly met my husband (although I didn't know he would become my husband at the time) here in October before my district left. Ryan Swiss, an Elder from my district was a friend of Matthew Carpenter's, who was also in the MTC at the same time. We met and spoke on a few occasions.

Sister Shepard, me, Sister Jenkins.

My companionship after a devotional that was given by President Thomas S. Monson. Then an Apostle of the church, now it's prophet. I was in the choir that day an we sang We Thank Thee O God For A Prophet. I still get chills thinking about it!

One my favorite companions Kori Lyman (now Hatch.) She, to this day, remains one of my dearest friends and was a bridesmaid at my wedding.

Weekly planning... in the morning on our bikes! I loved being a bike sister!

Companionship study. This is another one of my favorite companions, Aracely De Llana.

Heather Hull and I. We were never comps, but lived in the same apartment for 7 months. She spent the last half of her mission in Oxnard, and so did I.

Best district/Zone I ever had! This is Paxton, Ross, Bernhisel (with the guitar) Hulet, De La Llana, me, and Hull after a baptism in the church parking lot. Missing from zone 6--Davis, Peay, and Toone. Some of the best Elders there were!

The infamous Glennwood apartments. This was my favorite group of roommates from my college years. We are making "special" cupcakes for Matthew's apartment :)

And here he is, as I remember him, with a full head of hair, a goofy expression, and always insisting on driving, even my car!


Every decision I made, from serving a mission, to making and keeping covenants in the Temple, to moving to Utah, and to marrying Matthew in the Temple, all started with that first decision fifteen years ago to take a leap of faith, follow my heart and be baptized. I am so incredibly grateful everyday for the life I lead now and the blessings that have been mine because of the choice I made at the age of nineteen. The gospel has brought such joy, peace, and comfort into my life and I couldn't imagine my life without the church in it. Whatever else I acquire in this life, it will never be more precious or valuable to me than my testimony.


Aaron Tunell said...

Niki, I'm feeling all emotional over here. Thank you so much for sharing pictures, memories, and your testimony. I love ya


LoriAnn Grigg said...

Wow, I'm sitting here in Tears. I had no idea as to all the wonderful things you've done and gone through, From Your post about your parents to your mission and marriage. You are an amazing person! Truly one of Heavnely Father's choice daughters!

McLeodian Mayhem! said...

You are an amazing woman!

Monica said...

I louvre all these pictures of your " history" so to speak, I just love pictures!!! Do more do more!!!

Kelly Ann said...

That is a great post. You are such a wonderful, amazing person. Plus you have got to love those Glenwood apartments.