Carlos H. Amado was born September 25, 1944, in Guatemala City, to Carlos and Rosario Funes Amado. As a nine-year-old boy, Carlos H. Amado joined the Church with his family in Guatemala City, in 1953. He served a mission to the Andes Mission in 1965-1967. In December, 1971, he married Mayavel Pineda, who also was an early member of the Church in Guatemala, in the 1950s. Her family had moved to El Salvador for five years before they re-met and married. Sister Amado recalled: "The thing that made me admire him when we met, after not having seen each other since we were children, was his love for the Lord. His greatest concern is that we focus our attention on Christ." ("Elder Carlos H. Amado of the Second Quorum of the Seventy." Ensign, May 1989).
Carlos received a degree from the Technical Vocational Institute of Guatemala City and was working as a draftsman when he was called to be a bishop in the early 1970s. He had been teaching seminary and continued during his term as bishop. After two years he was hired by the Church Educational System to be the CES area director in Guatemala. He worked for the CES for fourteen years before his call as a General Authority.
Besides serving as a bishop, Brother Amado has served as branch president, counselor in a stake presidency, stake president, and regional representative. Brother Amado once said: "I have never felt that my callings are burdens -- but blessings. Everything I am, and all that I have, I have received through being involved in the service of the Lord." (Ibid.)
In 1981, he was called as the president of the Guatemala Guatemala City Mission. In 1984, he was asked to also preside over the newly re-opened El Salvador San Salvador Mission for a short time.
After his release as mission president, he was first called as the Blazer leader in his ward. His wife said that he prepared for his primary lesson as thoroughly and carefully as he would for a presentation to a group of priesthood leaders.
Soon, Brother Amado was called again to serve as a Regional Representative. His wife was called to serve as an assistant matron at the Guatemala City Temple. Elder Amado had served as chairman of the Guatemala City Temple Committee during its construction. The temple was dedicated in 1984.
In April 1989, Elder Carlos H. Amado was called to serve in the Second Quorum of Seventy. The calling came as a surprise to him, but not to his six children. Elder Amado went right to work in his new calling. He was assigned to go to Mexico City. In June 1989, he created his first stake, the Merida Mexico Centro Stake. During the stake conference, he challenged the members to do missionary such that another stake would be needed in Merida in a year. [The stake members took up the challenge and another stake was created in 1990]
In July 1989, Elder Amado created the Guatemala City Guatemala Nimajuyu Stake, the 14th stake in Guatemala. In October 1989, he was called to serve as the Second Counselor in the Mexico/Central America Area, serving with Elder Robert E. Wells, area president.
Elder Amado spoke in General Conference for the first time in October, 1989. He chose the topic: "Overcoming Adversity." During his talk, he shared a moving experience. When he was a boy, his father died suddenly leaving his mother a widow with fifteen children, ten still at home. "One morning as we were traveling downtown on a bus, she began to feel her loneliness. I noticed it, but also knew that I couldn't give her the comfort she needed. She cried in silence, but with dignity. A lady passenger came up and said: 'You seem to be very sad.' My mother answered, 'I have just lost my husband.' Then the lady asked, 'Do you have children?' and my mother answered, 'I have fifteen children, and each one of them has some trait that reminds me of their father. So I am constantly reminded of him.' When she heard this, the woman said: 'You are truly blessed, because you only lost your husband. I lost my husband, too, and my two daughters in an automobile accident, and I am living alone. So I do understand your pain and sorrow.' Then she added, 'Only God can help us overcome trials like this.' . . . To me, this woman was like an angel. She gave comfort and raised my mother's thoughts towards God in a time of great trial. From that day on, each time my mother felt lonely or abandoned, she would say to me: "Son, pity the woman who lost all."
The year 1990 continued to be a busy one for Elder Amado. In April 1990, he accompanied President Thomas S. Monson to regional conference in Mexico. During the year Elder Amado created two more stakes in Guatemala. In October, 1990, he was called to serve as the Second Counselor in the newly created Central America Area, with headquarters in his home city, Guatemala City. He served with Elder Ted E. Brewerton, area president.
In October 1991, Elder Amado was called as the First Counselor in the Central America Area. During the year he created stakes in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Costa Rica.
In June 1992, Elder Amado was moved into the First Quorum of Seventy, which meant that his service as a General Authority would extend past 1994. Also in June, he attended the ground-breaking of the Mission Training Center and temple housing in Guatemala City. He spoke and said: "We hope and plan for it to be filled and well-used by those from Central America and the Caribbean nations who come here." During December, he attended a mission president's seminar in Tikal, Guatemala under the direction of Elder Russell M. Nelson. The group met for two days of instruction, and afterward toured the famous Mayan ruins of Tikal.
In October 1993 General Conference, Elder Amado spoke on "An Eternal Vision." He shared the story of Elder Hermelindo Coy, a Kekchi-speaking missionary from Guatemala, who started his mission in 1991. Elder Coy developed pain in his leg and in August, 1992, he was diagnosed with bone cancer which had spread throughout his body. He understood that he had little time to live. "He never asked, Why is this happening to me? He did not lament, nor express negative feelings. He was obedient to all that was required of him. He was asked if he would like to return home, but he asked to remain in the mission and serve as long as possible, even until his death. By October of the same year, he walked with difficulty, requiring the use of a cane. He could only work a few hours each day. By December he was unable to walk. For the first time he was discouraged because he could not proselyte. . . . As his strength declined, he placed his complete trust in the Lord. On one occasion when the pain was very strong, he expressed in prayer, 'Heavenly Father, I do not know the day nor the hour that I will die, but I want to know soon from thee about my new assignment.' He died in February 1993. His death blessed all the missionaries, leaders, members, and even nonmembers who learned of his courage to serve and endure to the end. His faith was so simple that it was contagious. He never feared death. He strengthened all who knew him."
In August 1996, a great change occurred in his Church service when he was called to serve as the First Counselor in the South America South Area, serving with President John B. Dickson. This would take him far away from his home in Guatemala. During 1996, he created six stakes in Argentina. He was able to accompany President Gordon B. Hinckley on a visit to Santiago, Chile, on November 11, 1996. On August 10, 1997, he also accompanied President Hinckley to Paraguay. Elder Amado conducted the general session of the conference attended by 7,120 members.
Shortly after his visit to Paraguay, in August 1997, Elder Amado started serving as the president of the South America South Area. During his eight years as a General Authority, he has created nineteen stakes in Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Honduras, Argentina, and Paraguay.