These past few days I've noticed a very odd amount of people asking about my "conversion story" so to speak. I've given bits and pieces, sparing the excruciating details that would bore anyone to tears. One of my friends said that I should write a post about it, it was their request.
Still a tad bit weary about the whole idea here it is.
Hailey Nickell's Abridged Conversion Story
I grew up in the church. Active parents and little brother. I went through the seminary program, went to all three hours of church every week, Beehive 1st counselor, Mia Maid secretary and Laurel president.
Everything was good in the hood until my Senior year of high school. To spare the gorey deeets I stopped going to church, reading my scriptures, praying, you know everything you're supposed to do.
I don't really want to focus on how long I was away from the church or what I did and did not do, because that's not the important part. The important part comes next.
It was a freeeeeezing cold February day while I was standing outside of the Salt Lake Temple waiting for my best friend Kailee to walk out with her new husband. I felt a little bitter because it was so darn cold and I kept thinking, "what's the point in being here if I'm not in the temple?!" (Sorry Kailee).
Then it happened.
Kailee and Josh walked out of the Salt Lake Temple absolutely beaming. They looked so incredibly undeniably happy that it literally took my breath away. I couldn't explain it at the time but as I saw them, in that moment I knew without a doubt that I wanted what they had.
Kailee came over to give me a hug and I couldn't hold back my tears. Yes, they were tears of happiness for her, but also tears of realizing that I was not where I wanted to be and how badly I wanted to have a temple marriage.
Thus began the repentance process. It was hard, long and painful but it was what needed to be done. I realized I had missed out on so many opportunities and blessings that were waiting for me, had I been keeping the commandments.
I got to see first hand the change the atonement makes in someone, myself. That is an experience I wouldn't trade for the world. No one can understand the renewed energy I felt. The new dedication and pure joy that came from the atonement.
Things worked out better than expected. I got to serve a mission in Brazil and teach people there about my experience and help them turn their lives to the Lord.
I'm also extremely happy to say that what I want more than anything is coming true. And on September 20, 2012 I get to walk out of the temple with my husband, just like Kailee did, and I can only hope that I will be beaming just like she was.