The Golden Contact I Couldn’t Remember

By Perry W. Carter

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    While going through my e-mails one morning, I noticed a name I could not place: Enrique Jorge Dias. The subject line read, “Saludos [greetings] from a golden contact.”

    I had no idea what the message might be about, and I considered hitting the delete key. Curiosity got the best of me, however, and I opened it. It was written in Spanish.

    As I read, I learned that when Enrique Dias was 18, he was living in Adrogué, Argentina, where I served as a full-time missionary more than 30 years earlier. One morning as he was walking through the center of town, I stopped him and handed him a pamphlet about the First Vision. My companion and I, in accordance with instructions from our mission president, often spent mornings handing out pamphlets on the sidewalks of Adrogué. We probably spoke with hundreds of people, though we seldom got their names. Most of our conversations lasted no more than 30 seconds.

    More than three decades later, there was no way I could remember speaking to a young man, but he remembered me. A few weeks before I received his e-mail, I had posted my name on the Argentine Mission Web page, where Brother Dias had found it.

    In his e-mail he explained that he took the pamphlet home and showed it to his mother, who encouraged him to learn more about Joseph Smith. By the time he tried to find the missionaries a few months later, I had been transferred to a new area.

    Enrique received the discussions and was baptized and confirmed. I labored in Argentina for another 20 months but never heard anything about his baptism.

    The brief conversation we had shared in the street that morning long ago had transformed his life and the lives of many others. Two years after his baptism he was called on a mission to northern Argentina. Afterward he married and continued faithful in the Church, serving in a variety of callings, including bishop, counselor to two stake presidents, and high councilor. He added that his oldest son had served a mission in La Paz, Bolivia.

    Words cannot express the joy that came to my heart from reading that e-mail message. My mission was filled with many gratifying moments, but this long-delayed news from Enrique Jorge Dias made all of my memories of serving as a missionary even sweeter.