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Cody Haws' family welcoming home at the airport.

Cody Haws returned home on July 7 from serving a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Louisville, Kentucky. He noted, “My mission has given me a personal testimony of my Savior Jesus Christ. The personal witness and the personal relationship I have with him are the greatest ways I’ve been impacted by my mission.”

As with other missionaries, being on a mission during COVID-19 made a difficult job even harder for Haws. “Covid has changed missionary work in a variety of ways,” Haws said. “Initially the hit from Covid was rough. We had to quarantine, couldn’t meet with our friends, and had to wear masks at all times outside. Over time a lot of these initial annoyances went away and we’ve been left with many amazing things, namely technology.” He added, “Online proselytizing is used to find people to teach. Not only is it easier, but it’s a lot more effective. We also have increased our ability to have people find us instead of finding them, through advertising locally, creating posters for social media, and utilizing the social media of members.”

Haws comes from a large extended family where his dad, uncles, aunts, cousins and grandparents have all served missions or are serving missions. He is the first one in his immediate family to serve, being the oldest son. His parents, Buffy and Jared Haws feel his mission has blessed their family immensely. “Cody’s mission was a tremendous blessing to both Cody and the rest of the family. The example he has set for his younger siblings is invaluable. As a parent you can teach principles, but the example of a sibling living those principles can be equally as powerful or even more powerful to the other kids. Their lives have been so blessed by his tremendous example,” Haws said.

Cody feels his mission has impacted and changed him in many ways. Finding joy in life, even amid all the struggles and trials, he noted, has helped him to know God is always blessing His children and that Christ is always with us. He also feels that his relationship with the Savior has grown. He said, “I have come to have a relationship and truly know my Savior and to better understand the love that he has for me. I have learned to rely upon him and his grace and to remember that it is through Him that all things are possible.”

Haws added, “To see your child grow and mature into an adult with a testimony of his Savior and someone who is trying to live the gospel--nothing is more rewarding to a parent than this. It has been such a testimony building experience for us as his parents. Not only his testimony but also his desire to serve others [has grown]. It is something that will bless him the rest of his life.”

Not all of his growth has been spiritual. Haws noted that the mission helped him in practical ways, like budgeting, hard work and learning how to focus. It has also helped him to fully develop his ability to communicate, compromise, and show patience with all. He plans to move to Phoenix, attend ASU, and study Biomedical Engineering.

Submitted by Bonnie Holyoak