soul sisters

When we spent the Spring of 2002 in London with 50 BYU students we had a lot of incredible experiences. Lots of time in the West End at theaters, going to restaurants, doing some day trips. We discovered great markets and shopping, and loved hanging out with the students. Pretty fulfilling experience, all things considered. And then I met Janice Bailey.

Because there were about 50 of us from Utah transplanted there in London, the local LDS church leaders thought it might be a cool thing to spread us out around the different wards (congregations) in the south London area. The six of us in our family, along with a small handful of students, were to attend the Catford ward. It felt good to be around such warm and welcoming people, and even by that first Sunday we were in. On our second Sunday the ward was having a little pot luck lunch after the meetings as a chance for all of us to get to know each other better. As we loaded up our plates and began to mingle I looked across the room and saw a beautiful woman sitting with her husband and their pre-teen daughter. In this particular suburb of London there were many African people. This family was quite exotic looking, and I learned later that she was from the Carribean. So, I stood there looking at this woman. I knew her. I felt an immediate concern for her.

Within a matter of seconds Janice looked over at me and stood up. I walked over to her and introduced myself and we both started to cry, inexplicably. We had never met before, but we were somehow well-acquainted. It was one of the most spiritual experiences I have ever had. We would see the Baileys every week at church for the rest of our time there, and we even spent an afternoon in Greenwich together before we left to come home. Janice and I never had any earth-shattering revelations, we just connected somehow. And I was her sister, and she was mine.

10 comments

Heidi Ashworth | March 28, 2009 at 12:55 PM

Goosebumps! (er, the good kind)

Melanie J | March 28, 2009 at 2:46 PM

Wow. That's really cool.

LisAway | March 28, 2009 at 3:02 PM

What a quiet little miracle. That is just so neat.

Luann | March 28, 2009 at 3:05 PM

I've had a few moments like this, ones of inexplicable and remarkable spiritual awareness. When I think back on them, it amazes me that such a fleeting experience can pack such a spiritual wallop. They remind me that here is so much more around me than this paper thin temporal existence. This is the stuff that eternities are made from.

wendy | March 28, 2009 at 6:48 PM

I really think that is how IT IS. I believe YOU KNEW her. What if on the other side, before we even came here, friendships and bonds were experienced, and when we "find" these people on earth it would totally be a spiritual experience ---one to make you inexplicably cry. soooooo cool.

CHERRANNE | March 29, 2009 at 2:15 AM

TOO COOL, KAZ! What a testament that the gospel is true and God knows us as his children and we are all Siblings!!!!! Awesome, Sistah!

Marivic_Little GrumpyAngel | March 29, 2009 at 2:47 PM

So cool. I don't think I've ever yet met someone and felt quite the way you felt about Janice...I hope I have a soul sister out there somewhere.

Heather of the EO | March 29, 2009 at 6:13 PM

what's so especially beautiful about this is that I think sometimes this happens with people and they feel too sheepish to say "WOW, do you feel that?"

You both cried. It was your way of saying "I feel it too."

I love that.

That Girl in Brazil | March 29, 2009 at 6:42 PM

I've had this happen a couple times too.

And it's unforgettable.

charrette | April 5, 2009 at 12:21 AM

Great experience. Amazing, even. I LOVE Luann's comment.

I've had that happen a few times...once here, called to be a visiting teacher to a sister I'd never met before (from Haiti). And several times in Pasadena, I felt like the Lord just shined a spotlight on a new couple or new family and told me...You're responsible for these.