When 11-year-old Carlos Amado was baptized, his was the largest family in their Guatemala City branch. As the eldest son in a family that grew to include 15 children, Amado felt the need to be an example of a priesthood holder. As he progressed in the Aaronic Priesthood, he took every opportunity to prepare, bless, and pass the sacrament and to share the gospel with his friends. He learned early the importance of fulfilling Church assignments and the great blessings that come from service. By the time he was 14, he felt a strong desire to serve a mission.
With such a large family, however, financing a mission would be a challenge. At 17, Amado was told that if he could save half of the funds, the mission president would provide the rest. For the next four years, he worked and used his wages to pay his tithing, help support his family, and save as much as he could.
During this time, Amado saw many of his friends receive their mission calls, serve, and return. “They would come home so enthused, telling me how happy they were serving as missionaries,” he recalled, “and then ask me that cruel question, ‘When are you going on your mission?’”
Finally, at age 21, Amado had saved enough, and he submitted his mission papers. His call was delayed nearly a year, however, after the application was lost—twice. “The more I desired to go on a mission, the more challenges I had,” he later said. “Now I realize that opposition is a part of happiness, and the more that you try to do a good thing, the more difficult it is.” Finally, when he was 22, Carlos Amado was called to the Andes Mission in Peru.
After Amado returned from his mission, his sister arranged for members of their family to immigrate to the United States. Amado, however, felt there was still work for him to do in Guatemala. He stayed in the country, started a family, and later played a key role in establishing the seminary and institute program in the country and throughout Central America.
On April 1, 1989, Carlos Amado was sustained as a member of the Quorum of the Seventy. In general conference addresses, he passed on lessons he had learned growing up. In a general conference address in October 1993, Amado encouraged young men to serve missions. “It will be your privilege to serve two years as a missionary with an eye single to glorify God and build His kingdom,” he taught. “During that time, Christ will refine your spirit. He will mold your character and plant in your heart the principles that will permit you to live in righteousness and joy in this life and for eternity.” In April 2008, Amado again spoke on the value of service. “Service makes us strong in our faith and useful in His kingdom,” he taught. “It teaches us to love and understand our fellowmen, and it helps us forget about our personal desires, eliminating selfishness, pride, and ingratitude.”