I've decided that one of the best decisions I've ever made was to go visit Katy in Riga before she went home. Why? Because I am continually running into people I met there. I became fast friends with the same group of people Katy was friends with. Since then, I have had an opportunity to meet up with at least six of them here.
This past week gave me a chance to greet Olga as she came here to enter the MTC. Again, I'll probably get killed for putting this picture up, but here is a picture from when we first met in 2005. Olga is the blond. Oh wait... The one in white. Wait... Ok she's the one on Katy's left.
This picture is a bit better glimpse into her personality (in pink). This was after virtually 48 hours straight of hanging out, so all shyness was completely gone.
There were only a few of us at the airport, but I don't think you could have asked for a better reception. We had a sign, excited kids, and then this family: Matt, his wife and daughter. Matt is the elder who baptized Olga. I'm not sure who she knew would be there, but she was all smiles.
I was hoping to be able to give her a ride to the MTC. I got permission from the MTC and everything. Even had Laree waiting to go out to dinner with us. Alas, Matt wanted to give her a ride as well. No doubt that in this situation, I lose. He definitely got first dibs on that. After convincing them all that she did not have to ride the shuttle down, they were off.
Just as we were leaving, I realized I hadn't taken a picture of us yet, so here is a shot just as we are leaving the airport.
Several things about this night make it special. First, that I can meet up with someone from so far away here. Second, that a friendship that developed in a relatively short amount of time can last so long and third, the things she has overcome to even be here in the first place. Makes my life seem pretty wimpy in comparison.