Injured Missionary Who Survived Belgium Attacks Shares Experience and Faith


Elder Mason Wells, a missionary serving in Paris, France for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was hospitalized with severe injuries after surviving the terrorist attacks at the Brussels airport.

Wells, a 19-year-old from Sandy, Utah, told the Associated Press that the first explosion occurred 10-15 meters to the right of him. The missionary, who has only been in Brussels for six weeks, explained that he was so close to the blast, and it was so loud, that it even lifted his body up a bit.

Two other missionaries who were with Wells, Elder Richard Norby (66) of Lehi, Utah, and Elder Joseph Empey (20) of Santa Clara, Utah, also suffered serious injuries and are currently undergoing medical treatment. Doctors placed Norby in a medically induced coma following a lengthy surgery. Doctors have treated Empey for second degree burns and shrapnel wounds.

“We were really close, I feel lucky to have escaped with what I did,” Wells said.

The second blast at the Brussels airport went off as Wells was running out of the building. He recalls sitting in his own blood outside on the sidewalk when he felt an overwhelming sense of peace. Wells shared that experience, saying,

There was a feeling of calm and peace that I had and it was beyond just the physical shock. I attribute that to the presence of God. . . If there is anything I’ve learned, it’s if God can hear the prayers I was giving out on that sidewalk. . . I know that He hears the prayers of everyone.

The terrorist attacks in Brussels were not the first attacks that Wells has experienced. In an interview with ABC, Wells’ parents explained that their son was at the 2013 Boston Marathon to watch his mother run. He was one block away from the finish line when the shrapnel-filled bombs went off. In addition, Wells also happened to be in Paris when the French capital was attacked last November.

In the video, shared above, Wells keeps an optimistic attitude, explaining that he’s not afraid for what’s to come.

“The future holds what it holds,” he explained. “I’m confident that things will roll over with time and afterwards I’ll be able to see a bit more clearly. Right now I’m just trying to focus on getting better.”

Wells and the three other injured missionaries are expected to make a full recovery. The families of the three elders released statements Tuesday, updating the public on the missionaries’ conditions.

A fourth missionary, Sister Fanny Rachel Clain (20) of Montélimar, who was on her way to an assignment in Ohio, had already passed through airport security when the explosions occurred. She has been hospitalized with minor injuries.

Kylie is a writer at and graduate of BYU with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. She grew up in a Chicago suburb where she gained a passion for the Chicago Cubs. She enjoys writing and live event video production.