We’ll try to keep the COVID-19 news to a minimum this week as we come down from our General Conference recap high. Josie Gleave has kindly hopped into the hot seat, which means great international news!

How was your global fast on Good Friday? Did it work? Is coronavirus over? In all seriousness, it was cool to see everyone come together to fight this thing, but it’s also worth noting that other Christians have been fasting on Good Friday for centuries. Latter-day Saints did not invent the Good Friday fast! We are not leaders here!

Blogger and author Jana Riess, herself a convert to the Church, has her own thoughts on how to Make Fasting Great Again™, including to bring a more somber contemplative approach to it, rather than a transactional one.

You can also learn about five times a prophet has called for a global fast, but it was only done by three men. Tricky!

The Church is busy helping with the COVID-19 relief effort in many ways around the world:

  • Since its initial donation of medical masks, goggles and gowns to China, the Church has received numerous requests for similar assistance. Those requests are being evaluated and addressed as the Church is able to do so, although our ability to supply and deliver those products is limited by a global demand for such resources.
  • Support via donations to LDS Charities is providing supplies and raw materials for medical care in hospitals and emergency rooms for medical personnel and patient care.For now, the Church of Jesus Christ, through Latter-day Saint Charitable Services, has managed to provide aid in Cambodia, China, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Italy, Iran, Japan, Mongolia, the Philippines, Singapore , South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the United States and Vietnam.
  • Church donates use of official building in San Antonio, Chile to be used as a hospital for patients with mild virus symptoms. Estimated 48 beds are being installed. (Same building was similarly provided to be converted into a hospital during the 1985 earthquake).
  • Food and supplies from Bishop’s Central Storehouse sent to Navajo reservations in SW area. Volunteers dropped off 100 boxes of food to help out.
  • First Presidency approves massive relief campaigns in 57 countries.

Coronavirus has affected the youth of the Church in different ways. The Church was forced to cancel the inaugural runs of FSY this year, the final big event cancellation of its calibre.

However, youth in Australia have become creative with ways to interact during a lockdown, including virtual Iron Chef competitions!

In other international news, nurses in Nepal are helping newborn babies through Latter-day Saint Charities; Cyclone Harold hits the Pacific, with the Church ready to be involved in relief; and the United Arab Emirates is pretty psyched to welcome a temple in Dubai!

In other temples news, the Church quietly held a groundbreaking for the Richmond Virginia Temple last weekend. Actual construction will likely not happen for some time.

Hey, how about three new temple designs! We have two in Utah—Tooele Valley and Washington County—and one in Washington state. Who will win?!

Also, in interesting statistics, temple construction, coronavirus delays aside, is not keeping pace with announcements for the first time. Is President Nelson trying to ram them through before a successor is less bullish about building new temples?

Ammon Bundy, he who led an armed occupation of a federal wildlife refuge in 2016, is now leading Church in person, defying a state ban on such gatherings. Because #Liberty.

The court cannot weigh in on the validity of religious beliefs. That’s the ruling after a plaintiff argued that the Church had defrauded her once she studied Church history and felt she had been lied to. It’s an interesting case, to be sure, but the legal arguments didn’t take.

Lastly, let’s talk about missionaries who defy coronavirus. Two missionaries in Germany, social distancing like the rest of us, performed a great German version of “There Is Sunshine in My Soul Today” (not an LDS original, friends, sorry).

It’s great! But that is not all. The article bothers to mention that Elder Warnick produces his own music, available “through a download provider and a well-known video platform.” If that’s not a conspicuous way to avoid saying “Spotify and YouTube,” we don’t know what is!

So we thought it’d be great to check out Elder Warnick’s civilian life. You know what, not bad! A little Vampire Weekend. A little Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. A little 2010.

First enjoy “Your Love,” which is a cover of another great song by the same name. No, it has Justin Warnick in a laundromat, singing about your love!

Justin is also wondering “Why Do We Fall In Love” in this video, as he wanders a suburban location.

You can stream one of his most recent albums below!

Let’s give Elder Warnick the TWiM bump. Hopefully he never finds out about it because he’s not looking at his personal music stats while a missionary, but we went into this wanting to laugh and came back impressed by the kid’s skills.

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