SALT LAKE CITY — A missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints died after she slipped and fell while hiking in Switzerland, the church announced Tuesday night.
Annabelle Nielsen, 20, of Highland, was hiking with five other missionaries when she fell down a steep incline Tuesday.
Nielsen had been serving in the church's Alpine German-speaking mission at the time of her death.
Kenya Curran spent 12 weeks serving with Nielsen before completing her own mission.
“My favorite thing was, I would just sit in the chapel as she practiced the piano,” said Curran.
In a statement released Tuesday night, church officials offered their condolences for Nielsen's family and loved ones.
"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," the statement said.
Elder Caleb Bryant learned about his friends' passing on Wednesday morning.
“We had a mission wide zoom call this morning to release the information about what happened,” said Elder Bryant.
Of the five missionaries hiking with Sister Nielsen, Elder Bryant knew three of them, including Sister Nielsen’s current companion.
It’s hard to imagine his friend is gone.
“It’s comforting to know that her work isn’t finished,” said Elder Bryant.
Elder Bryant had served with Sister Nielsen for six weeks during the height of the pandemic.
“She changed my life, impacted my life and missionary service for the better,” said Elder Bryant. “I’ll be eternally grateful for her.”
The missionaries in the Alpine German Speaking mission are meeting Friday to share stories about Sister Nielsen.
They are also preparing memories and letters to send to Sister Nielsen’s family in Utah.
Watch FOX 13 for updates.