Area Authority Seventy

During a time of personal turmoil, Ambrosio C. Collado, Area Authority Seventy in the Philippines/Micronesia Area, opened the door to his apartment in Manila, Philippines, to see two tall North Americans with wide, eager smiles on their faces. “They asked me if I would like to listen to the message of the everlasting gospel of the Savior, Jesus Christ,” says Elder Collado.

As the missionaries explained the plan of salvation, Ambrosio had a glimpse of the meaning and purpose of life, and he found it glorious. He was so impressed that he invited his wife, Dorotea, and children, Francisco, Maria Paz, and Teodora, to join him in listening to the discussions. “With succeeding lessons our excitement grew,” he recalls.

During the months before baptism, the family was enthusiastically fellowshipped by ward members. “It took the missionaries nine months to nurture and help us grow until we were finally baptized as a family on 23 July 1973,” recalls Elder Collado. “We saw and felt the dawn of enlightenment illuminate our home. While I knew before that I loved my family, I realized that with the gospel to guide me, my love could build a foundation that would keep us together through the eternities.”

The first step toward that goal was to be obedient to gospel teachings. While helping their children walk in the ways of the Lord, the Collados also prepared themselves to attend the temple.

In 1977 their son left to serve a mission. The following year Ambrosio and Dorotea were sealed in the temple in Salt Lake City, Utah. In 1979 they returned with all their children to be sealed as a family. “It was a blessing for which we express our everlasting gratitude to a kind and loving Heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ our Lord,” he says.

During the following years, Brother Collado, a lawyer, went on to serve as a bishop, a stake president, and a regional representative before accepting his current calling as an Area Authority Seventy. With the marriage of two of their children, the Collados’ extended family now includes eight grandchildren, who live nearby. Their proximity makes it possible for the whole family to eat together on Sundays and to enjoy the wonderful blessings of worshiping together and serving the Lord in their respective callings.

“The tender and loving association that we have every time we meet is a treasure beyond measure in our bank of loving memories,” says Elder Collado.

Making the Grade

Mary Ann Arnett Price, principal of the Roosevelt Elementary School in Mesa, Arizona, was named Administrator of the Year for 1997–98 by the Arizona Association of School Psychologists. Sister Price, music coordinator and choir director in the Superstition Springs Ward, Mesa Arizona Kimball East Stake, gives much of the credit for the award to her faculty.

“I polled the teachers and asked them where they thought the school needed improvement,” she says. The answer was to build more respect for both teachers and students. Besides implementing programs to build more respect, Sister Price worked closely with parents to solve behavioral problems early among students.

Sister Price learned as a single parent raising four children, now grown, the importance of loving children and keeping perspective during difficult times. “We are all growing,” she says. “Children in particular need lots of patience. They need to know that if they make a mistake, they are still loved. We also need to give them an opportunity to make that mistake better.”

A graduate of Brigham Young University, Sister Price received a master’s degree in elementary education from Northern Arizona University. She is quick to acknowledge that her testimony and understanding of the gospel help her in dealing with children. “I recognize that every child is a child of God,” she says. “I can’t look at a child and not remember that. I feel it important to give children the tools they need to keep learning and growing until they achieve their potential.”

Preserving His Heritage

A hand-woven basket, pottery shards, and other artifacts led Arizona artist Urshel Taylor to research his rich cultural heritage as a member of the Akimel Au-Authm (Pima) Community. As a result of his efforts, Brother Taylor, of the Tortolita Ward, Tucson Arizona North Stake, received the Arizona Indian Living Treasures award for 1998. The award recognizes Native American artists not only for their artistic efforts but also for their work in preserving and revitalizing their culture.

“So much has been lost of the Akimel Au-Authm, or River People,” says Brother Taylor, who travels around the state in an effort to preserve Native American culture and skills through education.

Reared in Utah on the Ute reservation, Brother Taylor knew little of his mother’s ancestry until he visited an abandoned family homesite on the Gila River Reservation near Phoenix, Arizona. There he held ancient pottery shards belonging to his forefathers. Using his imagination of what those early people looked like, he sculpted wooden figures of women with long hair and soft robes. From that start, his art has come to capture more and more of the Akimel Au-Authm culture, along with his other award-winning works that portray the Northern Plains traditions he knew as a youth.

Tradition has it that the Akimel Au-Authm met members of the Mormon Battalion. “They took them by the hand and led them to food and water, then gave them mules to help them on their way. I like to think that my mother’s grandfather might have been one of those men,” says Brother Taylor.

Another legacy from his mother is Church membership. “I can still hear her singing the old hymns,” he says. “She’d sing while standing in the kitchen or hanging out the clothes.”

Gathering family history records has been a challenge. For years Brother Taylor has collected oral histories of his mother’s people. One account tells of his grandfather, Domingo Baptisto Morgan, who worked on the Mesa Arizona Temple. “The day before the dedication of the temple, he hitched up his team and drove all night to pick up my mother and her girlfriend at the Phoenix Indian School so they could attend the dedication,” he recalls. The girlfriend later joined the Church.

Brother Taylor is currently working on a series of acrylic paintings depicting Pima burden baskets, using as models those from the Arizona State Museum collection in Tucson.Arlene Miera, Tortolita Ward, Tucson Arizona North Stake

In the Spotlight

  • In November 1999, Jane Clayson, a graduate of Brigham Young University’s communication program and a member of the Manhattan First Ward, New York New York Stake, joined Bryant Gumbel as co-anchor of CBS’s national morning news program, The Early Show.

  • The Canadian Mental Health Association has elected Bill Gaudette, who serves as first counselor in the Parkland Ward bishopric, Calgary Alberta South Stake, as national president. The association, founded in 1918, has more than 30,000 members and volunteers and is dedicated to public education, applied research, and community services in the area of mental health and mental illness.