Latter-day Saints missionary dies during hike while serving in Switzerland

A Utah woman serving as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints died after a hiking accident in Switzerland, where she had been stationed since last year.

Annabelle Nielsen was hiking with five other missionaries when she slipped and tumbled down a steep incline, church spokesman Daniel Woodruff told the Salt Lake Tribune. The 20-year-old from Highland died from her injuries on Tuesday.

“We express our sincere condolences to her family and loved ones,” Woodruff said.

“We pray they will feel the peace and comfort of our loving Heavenly Father as they deal with this tragedy and honor her life.”

He added support will also be made available to the missionaries who were with Nielsen at the time of the accident “as they process what happened.”

Annabelle Nielsen
Annabelle Nielsen (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

Nielsen, a former high school tennis player at Lone Peak, was assigned to the Alpine German-Speaking Mission and had been serving since July 2019. Unlike many mission workers, Nielsen continued her duties amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The church temporarily sent home and later reassigned the majority of foreign-serving missionaries, but allowed those serving in two dozen European missions to remain abroad.

Family spokesman Rodger Lyman, the first counselor in the Highland Utah Central Stake, said Nielsen spent “months in an apartment learning a new way to do missionary work and was very resilient with that.”

“Annabelle was a sweet, sweet young girl, just a wonderful young woman. We’ve known her almost her whole life. Just fun, fun to be around, very kind and loving, very active,” he added.

“The family is struggling, as anyone would, but keeping the faith.”

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