It is always a sad day when a young missionary dies. On Tuesday, October 13, 2020, Sister Annabelle Nielsen, age 20, of Highland, Utah, passed away following a hiking accident while she was serving as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Switzerland on Tuesday. The following statement is from Church spokesman Daniel Woodruff:
We are deeply saddened to share news of the passing of a young missionary serving in Switzerland. Sister Annabelle Nielsen, age 20, of Highland, Utah, passed away Tuesday following a hiking accident. She and five other missionaries were hiking when Sister Nielsen tragically slipped and fell down a steep incline. She had been serving as a missionary since July 2019 and was assigned to the Alpine German-Speaking Mission. 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. 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.
When this kind of accidents happen, some people may ask: How dangerous is to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? A search online brings up these two interesting declaration done by Elder Russell M. Ballard and Elder L. Tom Perry.
In 1989, following the death of two missionaries in Bolivia, Elder Tom Perry noted that from 1831 until 1989, “only seventeen LDS missionaries [were] killed by assassins.”
Also at that time, Elder M. Russell Ballard “indicated that of the 447,969 missionaries who have served since the days of Joseph Smith, only 525—about one-tenth of 1 percent—have lost their lives through accident, illness, or other causes while serving. ‘When you contemplate that number,’ he said, ‘it appears that the safest place to be in the whole world is on a full-time mission.'”