Missionary who got stabbed nine times shares her recovery story

All photos are from Lauren’s post

On August 16, 2020, two sister missionaries from the church were attacked and stabbed by a 17-year-old boy. Since the attack, the attacker was charged and the sister missionaries have recovered.

One of the sister missionaries with name Lauren Willardson has shared how the attack started, being stabbed nine times, how they were saved, and her recovery. On top of that, she used the opportunity to share the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Below is the full post from Lauren Willardson:

Hello! My name is Lauren Willardson😊 I am a daughter of God, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, and I am one of the missionaries who was stabbed in Houston about a month ago. Because this week marks one month since I returned home from the hospital, I wanted to share the story of what happened in my own words, and more importantly share the path paved with miracles that I have walked with my Savior during this past month! It is my hope and prayer that by doing so I may bear witness of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and confirm to each of you that God TRULY IS our loving Heavenly Father, that Jesus Christ is the Master Healer and Savior of the World, that He gave His life because He loves you more than you can comprehend, and that through Him ALL THINGS truly can be overcome!
As many of you know, on August 16th around 4 am a man broke into the apartment where my companion and I lived and started attacking us in our sleep. We fought and prayed, struggling for our lives for about fifteen minutes. After the struggle, through the power and mercy of God, the man left. My companion and I called 911 and were then rushed to the hospital. We found in the ambulance that I had sustained nine stab wounds. At the hospital, I had a life saving surgery and then received treatment for many days. Thanks to your many prayers on my behalf and the infinite Atonement of my Savior, Jesus Christ, I am so pleased to report that I am now at home recovering nicely😊 I plan to return to missionary service as soon as my doctors will allow❤️

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While this time at home is definitely different than my original mission plan, I have learned more about Heavenly Father’s love during this time than I ever could have in 18 months! As I look back on these experiences, I testify that His plan is perfect and that it is with perfect love that every part of His plan is prescribed! I can see His loving hand through this experience because Heavenly Father prepared me my whole life with a great support system from my friends and family so I could have a wonderful recovery. He prepared me with a confidence in my life purpose and faith in Christ, that sustained me during the ordeal, during those critical life or death moments in the hospital, and in all of the pain that would follow. He made sure we would survive the incident by placing my companion and I together in that apartment, because we are convinced that if either of us had been there with any other missionary, we would not have survived. Even though we were stabbed, He kept His promise that “thy days are known, and thy years shall not be numbered less” (D&C 122:9) by sending angels to protect our vitals and main arteries. The surgeon who saved my life said that if the knife in my shoulder had been turned even a degree to the left or the right, it would have sliced a main artery and vein and I would have bled out before the ambulance ever arrived. What a miracle that we were protected and the knife glided in so perfectly! From all of this to having such experienced trauma surgeons…to having the president of the particular hospital I was taken to be LDS and let my parents in when no visitors were allowed with covid…to having my mission president and his wife led by the Spirit to the hospital in time to give me a life saving blessing……the evidence of God’s hand throughout this ordeal is overwhelming!!

Related story: Two sister missionaries attacked and stabbed in their apartment
If these miracles do not convince you of the great and miraculous love of our Heavenly Father, then I beg you to consider the Greatest Miracle of All, even the gift and life of His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ. He loved YOU…you reading this right now….Heavenly Father loved you enough to sacrifice His ONLY Son. He sent Him to die because He loves YOU and because He knew you were worth it. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ saved my life so many times that I cannot do anything for the rest of my life but witness of the INFINITE and INTIMATE love of our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I will bear Their Names with every breath They give me, so long as I live❤️
It is with this opportunity that I would like to conclude: by bearing testimony of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. On that dreadful morning of August 16th, after the man had gone, I remember waiting for the ambulance to arrive while my companion was on the phone with 911. I remember noticing for the first time all the places I was cut because we had been fighting with too much adrenaline to notice the wounds previously. As I sat there with my limbs tensing up to the point I could not move, not knowing if I was going to bleed to death, I remember looking down at my hand and seeing that it had been stabbed through the middle. While you may think that this would be an alarming sight to behold, I remember feeling the greatest peace as my mind instantly thought of a similar wound in the hands of One much greater than I. As more wounds were discovered on me in the ambulance and procedures following, I soon learned that my intestines had been pierced near my side, and my ankle pierced through as well right above my foot. With these three wounds I have learned more about the Atonement of Jesus Christ than I had ever understood previously. As I thought of His pierced hands, and feet, and side, and felt the pain of my own wounds in similar spots, I finally understood a microscopic proportion of just what Christ went through to save us. There are no words that can describe the amount of agony Christ chose to endure to save us. I do not possess the ability to describe what it feels like to have your hand stabbed through, the searing pain that follows wounds like these, or what it feels like to almost bleed to death, but because I have experienced these things I now can say to all the world: NEVER DOUBT HOW MUCH HEAVENLY FATHER AND JESUS CHRIST LOVE YOU!! I went through this because it just happened to me, but to think that Christ CHOSE willingly to feel everything I felt, an eternity more, and eventually die just so He could be there for us even when we sometimes choose to turn our back on Him…..I cannot help but exclaim like Pontius Pilate, “Behold, the Man!” I testify that He suffered excruciatingly, so that when you go through your own Gethsemane, you do not have to suffer. He will carry you when you cannot walk. He will take away the pain when you cannot bear it. He will bring you peace when hope seems lost. He will do this for you because this is what He has done for me. None of this is unique to me. He does it for all of us. I just had to have a little tougher experience to finally learn it, but I hope and pray that each of you will not have to do the same. That you will use my experience instead and learn it now. Please learn and never forget JUST HOW MUCH YOUR SAVIOR LOVES YOU!!!

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I know with all of my heart that I am only here today because of God’s power and I am sustained every day through your many prayers! I am touched to see all the good in the world that comes from a community of universal faith! I just want to express my deepest and most heartfelt gratitude to every single one of you reading this story. I have read tons of posts from people who are praying for my companion, for me, and for our families. We are truly humbled and honored. I wish I could look every single one of you in the eyes and say how GRATEFUL I am for your love and support. Your prayers enabled me through every step of this journey and I hope you each know that they have quite literally caused modern day miracles in my healing process. THANK YOU!! I love you all! I would not be where I am today without you, and I am honored to be your sister in the family of God.
If you would like to hear more about the miracles during this ordeal and how Christ enabled me through, I have started a Facebook/Instagram account (account info below) where I will post more details and spiritual insights throughout my recovery, until the day I return to the mission field! The account is called “The Work of His Hands” to highlight how every miracle worked in my life came from the hands of my Savior. I hope that through this endeavor many of you may come to know as I do that Heavenly Father’s hand is working miracles in your life through our Savior, Jesus Christ😊
Please feel free to share this post to promote faith in Jesus Christ! However, we ask that you please also be sensitive to what is shared by word of mouth to prevent the creation of any more rumors 😊I love you all! God speed! And please remember this story and never EVER forget how much Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love you❤️

Facebook account: The Work of His Hands
Instagram Handle: the.work.of.His.hands

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  1. Thank you dear Sister. You are beautiful and very brave. Thank you for your strength and your heart felt testimony.
    I’m retired and living with my wife in Thailand. A dear friend in Spokane Washington sent me your story.
    Bless you in your recovery and your success as you return to the mission field. Here in Thailand all the missionaries were sent home several. months ago. We look forward to their return since they were our source of translation from Thai to English

  2. Thank you for sharing your beautiful, painful story. I know that we can feel closest to God through our infirmities. To suffer and turn to the Lord is when we most feel His and our Gethsemane. I am so glad you were able to feel the sweet balm of his healing power and have the Angels surround you through your recovery. Bless you sister!

  3. Dear Angel of God, I pray that your wounds be healed and that you will have a speedy recovery, Thanks for sharing your testimony and your love for our Heavenly Father and for our Savior Jesus Christ. You’re a special daughter of our Heavenly Father.
    May God bless and protect you always!
    Love you 😘

  4. What a powerful testimony of the love of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I too have had personal encounters and experiences that helped me know without a doubt about the great love they both have for me and my family and i know, it’s a love i can’t really explain but know is strong and all encompassing. I know Heavenly Father and His son Jesus Christ live and love all of us. Thanks for sharing your testimony, it made me remember those experiences i had that made me know for myself the great love they both have for us and to never take it for granted but to be eternally grateful 😊❤

  5. As I read about all this things happened with the missionaries with there dedication in serving our lord and the true church of God, I finally had the greatest love of the church which is the true church..God protect this members with dangers..I may not explain too much myself about what I felt, to this missionaries experience, truly they were the children of God. God bless missionaries in thier journey to be able
    To continue thier desires to serve GOD.

  6. Thank you so much sister for sharing your incredible experience! You gave a very powerful testimony and I was in tears reading your story and testimony. I live in Portland Oregon and I have had many experiences that have pushed me to places I never thought I would have to go to or endure. I have 7 children, happily married for 40 years, and some of my children have been incredibly hard. I have suffered the loss of a sweet son, but have been given incredible help from the Lord through unusual spiritual experiences that He has blessed me with! He never leaves us if we try everyday to live the gospel and be obedient to the commandments of God. I know this to be true. I also have had over 25+ surgeries in the last 9 years. So, I understand hospital stays very well. Your testimony gave me hope today and a reminder that we are children of a very loving God and He does literally send Angel’s to give us help in times of great need. I know that too, because of different experiences in my life. Bless your heart, you’ve been through a very big ordeal. But, remember that you were given help to have your life spared. I love you and hope you heal as quickly as possible. Thank you again, for writing about your experience. Love, Carla Coder

  7. Thank you for sharing little Sister.
    You are still on your mission even though you are not out in the field. Your experience and your faith is teaching many of the need that we all have to get closer to Jesus Christ and believe in Him and His mercies.
    I wish your mission had been easier, but Heavenly Father assigns us to the things that He knows we can handle and where we will are the most needed.
    You are an excellent example of Faith, Hope and Charity!

    Love you, I wish you well.

  8. Thank you for sharing your story to us. I felt the Saviour’s love for me through your story. My faith in our Father in Heaven and Saviour Jesus Christ is strengthened. I know they are real and they live. One day, in God’s perfect time, my family too is waiting for another miracle to happen for the full recovery of my brother who has been in the hospital for almost 2 years now since he was hit multiple times on the head by a base ball bat that resulted in his vegatative state from unfriendly people on his way to work. I know God works in mysterious ways…I testify of His divinity. Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ love you and your companion. He loves his children dearly.I love Him too.

  9. Sisters I’m Thankful for our Lord and Savior, for his Protection Spirit that was placed around you Sisters Missionaries. Praying for a speedy recovery for you both. God led me to your Page, and once again seeing the Power of him, My name is Shelia Tubby and I am a member of The Church .

  10. O my goodness sister you are perfect example of how disciple of Jesus Christ should be love your testimony 🥰
    Love and hugs Angie and Shane

  11. Me alegro tanto por usted y su compañera que se hayan recuperado. No dudo que fue un milagro y que ángeles les cuidaron sus heridas y el poder de la sanidad ha obrado en usted. Saludos desde Chile y bendiciones en su vida por su fé y perseverancia.

  12. Prayers for.speedy.recovery and God
    willing a return to sharing your powerful
    testimony of Heavenly fathers love for
    all his children. Heal well.sister.

  13. Thank God that you and your companion was now safe i was one of the people prayed for both of you will be ok God is good he will not let anyone harm his missionaries youre both so brave and faithfull servant of Heavenly Father . Thank you for sharing your testimonies it showing how miraculous farher loves his children . I still praying for both of you for fully recovery me and my son we love missionaries

  14. Dear sister, your experience is such that you would not have been able to endure on your own. If ever there was doubt in my heart of the love of God and Jesus Christ, reading your testimony would have removed it. Mine eyes watered from the beginning to the very last word. I felt it with everything that is within me. THANK you dear sister your experience has helped me feel closer to my Heavenly Father.


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