Elder Mason Wells shares details of priesthood blessing and missionary work done in aftermath of blast
March 26th, 2016
Chad Wells served his LDS mission in France and returned to the area on Thursday to be with his son Mason, who is one of four LDS missionaries who was hurt in the Brussels airport attack.
Chad Wells served his LDS mission in France and returned to the area on Thursday to be with his son Mason, who is one of four LDS missionaries hurt in the Brussels airport attack.
Elder Mason Wells did seven media interviews from his hospital bed in Brussels yesterday, but he hasn’t seen his face on any TV screens because he is keeping the LDS mission rules. Mason has been serving for 19 months and his family was scheduled to come pick him up when he finished his two-year mission in August. Plans changed on Tuesday when Mason sustained burns and flesh wounds, and his parents arrived two days later at his bedside.
“The first moment we saw Mason was awesome,” Kymberly Wells said. “You could see the relief on his face and he said he was glad we were there. It was wonderful to see him, but also hard because his injuries were worse than we had originally thought. Since I arrived, Mason has wanted to hold my hand as much as possible, and he isn’t normally a very affectionate person.”
Mason was just coming out of surgery and waking up when he first saw his parents. “It was surreal to have my parents there with me — it was very, very nice to see them,” he said.
Kymberly slept in his room with him the first night so she could put chapstick on his lips and help him get drinks of water. The second night, the staff didn’t allow her to stay so Chad and Kymberly slept in a nearby hotel room.
Local LDS members have showered the Wells family with love, including the local Relief Society president who is from Cottonwood Heights. She brought the Wells a basket of fresh produce, including cucumbers, carrots and tangerines. Former BYU basketball star Lee Cummard (who plays on the Brussels team) visited with Mason before Chad and Kymberly arrived and has continued to offer help and support this week.
“He has shared some beautiful things with us that have gotten him through this experience, and I think he will share some of them publicly over time. He has felt close to God and that’s why he’s doing OK. We all know this is the Lord’s plan — there’s no other way to reconcile what has happened.” —Kymberly Wells, mother of injured missionary
Although the burn treatments and surgeries on Mason’s ankle have gone well, Mason has been in pain while his right hand has been scraped and cleaned to address the second- and third-degree burns.
“They weren’t able to completely put his arm to sleep, so Mason experienced horrible pain and a really rough night,” Kymberly said.
Despite the physical and emotional difficulties Mason has experienced, he has kept positive and shared his faith in person and in multiple five-minute interviews from his bed with international media.
“He has shared some beautiful things with us that have gotten him through this experience, and I think he will share some of them publicly over time,” Kymberly said. “He has felt close to God and that’s why he’s doing OK. We all know this is the Lord’s plan — there’s no other way to reconcile what has happened.”
Mason was about 10 meters from the first explosion at the airport, where he was injured from the flame and the shrapnel. When his companion, Elder Joe Empey, found him, Mason was standing in a pool of blood and Joe told him to lie down. A passerby put a suitcase under Mason’s bloody ankle. Both missionaries were on the ground when Joe offered to give Mason a blessing. Mason pulled out his vial of consecrated oil but his shaky hands dropped it. Mason pulled out a second vial of consecrated oil and Joe gave Mason a priesthood blessing that he would return home whole. Mason offered to give Joe a blessing, but Joe said Mason was too hurt to expend energy doing that. Emergency personnel were putting lanyards on the wounded to indicate the severity of their injuries. Mason was more badly hurt than Joe, so they had different colored lanyards around their necks. The companions were soon separated and taken to different hospitals. They haven’t spoken since.
“I’ll see him back at the University of Utah Hospital, and we’ll talk then,” Mason said.
Mason tells of a 24-year-old Moroccan woman who was beside him during the priesthood blessing. She also came to Mason three times throughout the ordeal, even as he was moved to multiple locations. She held his hand and was a distraction for him.
“Mason told us that he taught her the restoration amidst the chaos around them,” Kymberly said. “We hope that through Facebook we can find her and thank her for showing care for him.”
Earlier this week, Chad and Kymberly Wells did media interviews and followed their son’s story from their Utah home (pictured). Now they are at the bedside of Elder Mason Wells, but they are no longer watching media coverage because Mason wants to keep mission rules and not watch TV.
Mason and his parents have praised the medical personnel for their efforts on Mason’s behalf. Plans are in the works to transport Mason for more procedures and treatments at the University of Utah. The Wells live in Sandy, and they previously resided in Cedar Hills where Mason graduated from Lone Peak High School in 2014. He was on student council and the football team.
Much of the media focus has been on Mason’s proximity to three terrorist attacks — the Boston Marathon in 2013, the Paris blasts and now Brussels. Chad was interviewed by Wolf Blitzer during the Boston ordeal, but Kymberly has preferred to be more private. “I didn’t wear my Boston Marathon jacket or my medal because I didn’t want to talk about it,” she said. But the Wells have become the most famous American family this week as they’ve consistently shared a message of faith, hope, love, appreciation and Christianity.
“We have felt the prayers and love from around the world during these unusual circumstances,” Kymberly said. “We see the Lord’s hand and we want to do our best to continue to be guided as we make decisions and move forward.”
Chad recalls the words of Elder Jorge Becerra, the Area Authority Seventy who visited with the Wells in their Sandy home on Tuesday. “He told us that if we kept our eyes open the next few days, we would see the hand of the Lord. And he was right. We’ve seen miracle after miracle, blessing after blessing. The saints all over the world are incredible and full of goodness. It’s been powerful and real to watch it all unfold.”