Here are several safety tips for LDS missionaries.
It’s common for pre-missionaries and their families to feel concerned when they receive a mission call to serve in an area notorious for crime and gang violence. While I’m not expert on missionary safety, here are some observations I made while on my Mormon Mission to Argentina.
Safety tips for LDS missionaries
15) Practice expanding your safety vocabulary.
You might consider learning to recognize a few words relating to safety and crime, including: help, fire, stop, come, gun, knife, rob, steal, kill, fight, rape, run, gang, etc. One of my old roommates heard a lady yell “rape,” in Spanish and was able to help protect the lady.
20) Learn how to whistle with your fingers.
Learning to make a loud whistle by making a “V” with your fingers may be useful on your mission and after to signal to others if you are lost or in danger. The loud whistle will likely travel farther than a yell.
22) Don’t react to barking dogs.
In a lot of countries there are stray dogs on the streets. In Argentina I sometimes found myself surrounded by 5-10 dogs. I noticed if I didn’t show fear they usually wouldn’t bother me for very long. I once had a new companion on the mission who always attracted barking dogs (I believe) because he would move away from the dogs and act startled when they barked. Despite the thousands of barking dogs I saw on my mission I was only bitten by 2-3 dogs on my mission and the bites weren’t very painful. Another trick to deter dogs is to bend over and pick up a rock (not throw it- the mere act of bending over is enough to scare most dogs away).