Rexburg, Idaho— Sister Kiersten Thompson, a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was attacked by a homeless man with another missionary Wednesday evening, while eating dinner at a park.
Thompson from Denver, Colorado and Walker from Holladay, Utah, are serving missions for eighteen months. The two missionaries spend their days teaching people about coming unto Christ, but the homeless man was not looking for their spiritual message.
What seemed like a casual Wednesday evening at a local park, eating pizza, would turn into one of the most memorable and frightening evenings of these young missionaries lives, thus far.
The two sister missionaries were finishing up dinner in a small park in Thousand Oaks, California around 5:30 p.m. when they saw a ragged homeless man approaching. “He was running at us and seemed to be very angry,” said Thompson. “He was really tall, with grey hair and a grey beard and definitely had some crazy vibes flying.”
Thompson and the other Sister Missionary, Megan Walker saw the man coming towards their picnic table in the park and began to pack up their things quickly, hoping to get as far away from the estranged man as possible. “As I was trying to pack up frantically, I turned back to see my companion, Sister Walker being bear hugged from behind by this man. There was nothing I could really do,” Thompson said. “He was shaking her and not letting her go! So I began hitting him with a book I found in my bag! And he really did not like that!” The man was not prepared to let the missionary go, so both missionaries practiced their self defense and eventually pried the mans arms off of Sister Walker. “Your adrenaline kicks in and I knew I had the Lord on my side so I was prepared to fight this man if I had too.” Said Thompson.
As the missionaries struggled to get away from the clutches of the homeless man, they ran through the park as fast as their legs would allow, praying as they ran. “I turned to Sister Thompson and saw that she was hysterically crying, while I was hysterically laughing.” giggled Sister Walker. “We definitely viewed this situation somewhat differently.” Said Thompson, as both missionaries began to laugh.
The missionaries went on to explain, that the homeless man chased them through the park, screaming and yelling in a language “that seemed somewhat satanic.”
Thompson explained that through her faith in prayer, she believed she was able to escape this crazy man. “Honestly I know the only reason we were able to get away from the homeless man is because as we were running, I said a prayer out loud, asking the Lord if he could stop the man from chasing us. As soon as that prayer ended, Sister Walker and I both looked back to see he had stopped dead in his tracks and was no longer yelling at us.”
The reason the homeless man was chasing these two young missionaries is still unknown, but both Sister Thompson and Sister Walker were not harmed.