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Terrorist attack, resulting miracles built strength, LDS missionary says

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PROVO — Little more than two months after Sister Fanny Clain was injured in the terrorist attack at the Brussels Airport, she's ready to begin her LDS mission in Ohio. She said experience, and the miracles that followed, can only make her a better missionary.

Clain was all smiles during a meeting at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' Missionary Training Center in Provo. After three weeks of study, she said she's anxious to begin her service at the LDS Church's visitors center in Kirtland, Ohio, with English as her second language.

"It's an adventure, and I like adventures," she said.

But as a 20-year-old Latter-day Saint from Reunion Island, France, answering her call to serve in America hasn't come easy.

"I was waiting for a long, long time," Clain said. "I wasn't able to go to Ohio, so I started in the Paris mission; I was in Belgium."

Due to delays with getting her visa, Clain served the first four months of her mission in Brussels. But on March 22, with visa in hand, she was on her way to America — escorted to the Brussels Airport by two young missionaries, Elder Mason Wells and Elder Joseph Dresden Empy, and a senior missionary, Elder Richard Norby.

But just moments after they said their goodbyes, the missionaries found themselves right in the middle of a violent and chaotic scene — a terrorist's bomb exploded just a few yards away.

Dozens of people were killed, and scores of others injured. All four missionaries were wounded and rushed to nearby hospitals.

"We were all separated from each other," Clain said.

She suffered second-degree burns on her hands and face, as well as shrapnel wounds. She was hospitalized in Belgium for three weeks, and at one point battled a serious infection.

While her burns are still healing, Clain is now well enough to continue her mission.

"I need to be careful with my ear," she said. "(I can't) put water on it, so to take a shower is kind of fun."

Even though she has suffered, both physically and emotionally, Clain believes this experience will help her to be a better missionary.

"People have really hard things in their lives, and so now I had hard things so now I can understand more," she said.

In the midst of the tragedy, Clain said she was the recipient of many miracles.

"First of all, that I am still alive," she said. "The second one is that they took care of me really fast. I am not as burned as I thought. I can walk. I have all my (fingers). I still have my hands, my head, even my ear. I have met a lot of nice people. I wasn't in the hospital too long, and I was able to go back on my mission fast. All of this is a miracle."

She also believes serving a mission in Ohio is where God wants her to be.

"When we choose to trust in Him we can see how He helps us, and how extraordinary it is so we can grow and trust in Him more," Clain said.

It is that trust that gives her confidence and peace as she looks forward to the future.

Contributing: Jordan Ormond


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