I am sure that a few people are wondering what has happened to Elder and Sister Haws since they left Africa. Well, here is what is happening to us and what the future may hold.
We left Africa on June 13, 2013, after I had been sick since May 27th. When I returned I was wearing a catheter as well as having much discomfort. We went to see the doctor here in Utah on June 14th and he scheduled me for surgery on June 27th (he wanted a couple of weeks be sure the medications were proper). Our Stake President visited us the Sunday after we arrived home and officially released us from full-time missionary service.
I had surgery on the 27th and it was pretty rough. I left the hospital with a catheter still attached. A week later we visited the doctor and he removed it and I was now independent in many ways.
It has nearly been 4 weeks since my surgery (and 8 weeks since I got sick) and I have pretty much been doing nothing during that time. I feel weak and I do not have a lot of energy, but I am not sick.
When we visited the doctor last week he wrote a letter to the Church saying that he felt like we would be ready to return to full-time missionary service after the 15th of August. Our Stake President sent that letter on to the Missionary Department. We were hoping to get a new assignment that we could begin on August 16th. However, the Missionary Department doctors want to wait until after the 15th of August until our doctor gives us a complete clearance. So we will see our doctor again on the 15th of August and hopefully get another letter and a new assignment. We really would like to get on with our mission.
We have been living in our home (in the guest room) with our daughter and her family. They have been such gracious hosts and are taking such good care of our home, and now us. But we know this is not where we belong. We are missionaries (even though we cannot officially wear our name tags) and we want to finish what we started.
We want to express our deepest gratitude to everyone who has been praying for us. My name has been on the pray rolls of temples all around the world. Family members and friends have fasted and prayed for me, and this is truly a humbling experience. The saints in Africa have also been concerned.
This life has no guarantees. We are only promised experiences. It is how we respond to these experiences that determines who we are and what we will become.
Thank you again and we will let you know "the rest of the story" when it is written.