A group of missionaries serving in the Alpine-German Speaking mission are using their talents to share their testimonies and honor the life of a fellow sister missionary who recently passed away.
On Tuesday, October 13, Sister Annabelle Nielsen, 20, from Highland, Utah, died while hiking with five other missionaries in Switzerland. According to Church officials, Sister Nielsen, who had been serving since July of 2019, slipped and fell down a steep incline.
“We express our sincere condolences to her family and loved ones,” said Church spokesman, Daniel Woodruff. “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.”
Since the accident, fellow missionaries have mourned the loss and searched for ways to honor Sister Nielsen’s life. Elder Tade Biesinger, a former Broadway performer and now missionary, had an idea to choreograph a dance dedicated to her. He, along with Sister Bailey Smith and Sister Caroline Smith, performed the piece, while Elder Jack Spoors filmed and edited it.
“On Friday evening, my soul was pierced by the scripture in Ecclesiastes 3:4,” Elder Biesinger wrote in his Facebook post. “It states that there is a ‘time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.’ As soon as I heard the word dance, I felt an overwhelming impression that I needed to create something that would express my testimony that the work of angels on both sides of the veil is very real.”
The missionaries expressed their sincere belief that they received heavenly help in the creation process. “There were many moments where it was clear that the ideas coming from those involved in the project were not our own,” Elder Biesinger said.
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The dance, performed to the song “Angels” by Khalid, is a profound testimony about the ministry of angels to God's children on earth and in the heavens. While the project was designed to honor Sister Nielsen and bring peace and healing to her family, it also brought healing to the sweet missionaries who served alongside her in Germany and Switzerland.
“This is dedicated to Sister Annabelle Nielsen, her family, and to those who await the day when they will be reunited and rejoice with their loved ones again,” Biesinger said.
Watch the video honoring Sister Annabelle Nielsen here.
Born and raised in St. George, Utah, Tylee Hunt is a journalist and dancer who loves to tell peoples’ stories. In 2018, her passions led her to follow her dreams in New York City. She is a senior at Marymount Manhattan College, majoring in Digital Journalism and Dance.