Mormon missionary, 20, dies in a hiking accident in Switzerland

Mormon missionary from Utah, 20, dies after slipping and falling during a hike while serving in Switzerland

  • Annabelle Nielsen died after slipping and falling down a steep incline while hiking on Tuesday with five other missionaries in Switzerland 
  • Nielsen had been on a mission in Basel, Switzerland, since July 2019 
  • Nielsen, a student at Brigham Young University, is survived by her parents and four siblings  

Mormon missionary Annabelle Nielsen, 20, died after slipping and falling down a steep incline while hiking on Tuesday with five other missionaries in Switzerland

A 20-year-old Mormon woman from Utah serving a mission in Switzerland has died in a hiking accident. 

Annabelle Nielsen was on a hike with five other missionaries on Tuesday when she ‘slipped and fell down a steep incline,’ according to a statement from Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints spokesman Daniel Woodruff.   

The church representative did not provide any additional information concerning the circumstances of the accident, or where it happened.  

Nielsen, from Highland, Utah, had been serving as a missionary since July 2019 and was assigned to the Alpine German-Speaking Mission in Basel. 

‘We express our sincere condolences to her family and loved ones. 

‘We pray they will feel the peace and comfort of our loving Heavenly Father as they deal with this tragedy and honor her life,’ Woodruff stated. ‘We also pray for the other missionaries who were with Sister Nielsen at the time of the accident and are working to provide them with the necessary support as they process what happened.’

Nielsen had been serving as a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints missionary since July 2019 and was assigned to the Alpine German-Speaking Mission in Basel

Nielsen graduated from Lone Peak High School in 2017 and studied at Brigham Young University before going on her mission in July 2019.

Her family in Utah learned of her death on Tuesday afternoon, according to President Rodger Lyman, the first counselor in the Highland Utah Central Stake, which is an administrative unit of the church, who spoke on their behalf. 

Nielsen, a student at Brigham Young University, is survived by her parents and four siblings

Unlike many other missionaries who were pulled from foreign countries and sent home during the coronavirus pandemic, Nielsen was allowed to remain in Switzerland and continue proselytizing. 

‘She spent all those months in an apartment learning a new way to do missionary work and was very resilient with that,’ Lyman told Deseret News. 

The church official described Nielsen as a ‘sweet, sweet girl’ who was kind, active and fun to be around. 

‘The family is struggling, as anyone would, but keeping the faith,’ he added. 

Nielsen is survived by her parents and four siblings. 

On July 1, she wrote a seemingly prescient Facebook post, affirming her belief in the Mormon doctrine of eternal families.   

‘I’m always thankful for my family!’ she wrote in German. ‘They are truly a blessing. I thank God nearly every day for them and for the support I get from them. I LOVE my family and know we can still be a family after death. This is possible thanks to Jesus Christ.’ 

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