I played my violin in church today. It was kind of a last minute thing. Our music coordinator realized last night that she had a nice arrangement of the closing him that used organ, piano, and violin in the accompaniment. She sent out an email to a couple of us and we both said we were game. We had a quick run-through before sacrament meeting. It really was a last minute, throw-together type thing. But it sounded good and turned out just fine. My goal when playing in church never has anything to do with me playing to show my skill. I really, truly want to bring the spirit into the meeting. I feel like I have been given this talent for that reason. Today when we were packing up after sacrament meeting, we were stopped by a man attending church who wanted to thank us for the beautiful job we did. He was choked up. He went on to explain that he is not a musician and he doesn’t normally get emotional, but he was so touched by the closing hymn and he wanted to thank us for all of the hours of preparation and practice that went into learning our instruments so that we could easily throw together something like that. He was there when we had our run-through. He knew we hadn't really practiced it. He recognized that it took years of work to be at that point and he was impressed and touched by the performance. I’m so thankful that I could participate in that ensemble today and bring the spirit into the meeting. I’ve been so busy with performances that sometimes it’s hard to take a step back and see what I’m really doing and why I am really doing it. This afternoon I played for the San Diego Festival Chorus. I was less than excited for the performance because I'm tired and I’ve been run-down with a cold, but as we played the beautiful music from Mendelssohn’s “Hymn of Praise”, I was impressed with the message we were sending to the audience. Although our performance could have used a bit more preparation, I was able to feel the message of that music. Right after that concert, I listened to the last bit of a Christmas devotional. Following the devotional was a rehearsal for our church's Christmas choir concert next week. I was asked to play in a number with them. Again, I felt blessed to be playing this gorgeous music. I could feel the spirit and I really was touched by the message we, as a group, were sending to those who were listening. As busy as I get at this time of year, I’m so glad I can be part of so many opportunities to share the spirit of Christ with others.