First full week in our mission assignments

25 September 2016

So, we are finally getting settled into the mission and to our assignments. What Bob and I are primarily doing is called auditing. The section we’re assigned to is auditing periodicals (mostly genealogical publications that each focus on a different surname). These records have already been digitized and catalogued by others and we are one of the final steps before they become available on-line for research. We look at each entry to verify information and, if needed, made corrections or add descriptions that may help researchers. (Again, I’m reminded of the scripture that admonishes us to have records “worthy of all acceptation.”)
We work at terminals with two monitors so we can have the original doc up on one screen and review the information about it on the other screen. While there is, naturally, an element of the mundane in what we’re doing, I find that the spirit of it is a lot like doing family history research. There is joy in doing it.
I am also being trained in scanning. There is a push to complete the digitization of all paper records, so I’m helping with that.  The records I scanned and recorded this week were from the Philippines. 
They have plans for Bob to start doing some programming (in addition to auditing) next week. They seem delighted to have someone on board with his skills.
Another couple who came in with us is also assigned to audit records, but, they are doing visual audits of images being sent in from around the world. There are 56 different places in the world where records are being filmed and those films are sent in to Salt Lake for processing. Once they arrive, they’re reviewed for readability. Auditors don’t have to be able to read Chinese, or Latvian, etc., they just have to see that the image is clear, in focus, and legible. If any of the images need to be re-shot, they’re sent back for correction.
Until we got here, I had no idea of the scope of the work being done behind the scenes to provide us with the many records we have available to search. (And, of course, everyone who is indexing is helping with this work, too.)
On Friday, a couple in our area who are leaving the mission next month, gave us their tickets to the Saturday morning session of General Conference next week! They said they were able to go this past April, so they offered them to us. I'm so happy we get to be there, live, for at least one session! Also, Bob has a ticket for the Priesthood Session Saturday night.
Thursday evening and Friday morning we saw a big shift in the weather. (It was in the 80s on Wednesday but was 48 degrees by Friday. Friday morning we could see the snow on top of the mountains near us. (We were told there was 6”-8” on the mountain, though, in the valley we just got a cold rain.)
View from our little balcony.
We attended a free concert at the Assembly Hall Friday night. It was a husband and wife team who play piano duets. They were truly exceptional! Lovely evening,
I experienced my own special little miracle Saturday evening. I really wanted to be in the conference center for the Women’s Session of Conference, but, I didn’t have a ticket. Our Stake Relief Society had a pre-conference meal and social at the stake center across the street, so I went to that, prepared to watch the broadcast in the chapel. However, after we ate, I felt prompted that I should walk over to the conference center and I’d be able to get in. (I had heard that people without tickets can often get in, but, usually its to fill seats after the session has begun, so I was thinking I’d probably have to wait a while to get in.) When I got to the conference center, I walked up to a man with an official-looking badge near the ticket office. Just as I reached him, another sister approached him and asked, “If I have an extra ticket, would I give it to you?” He said, “Oh, no. It wouldn’t work to give it to me.” So, I said, “Actually, I came here in the hopes of getting a ticket. Would you be willing to give it to me?” She said, “Sure!” and handed me the ticket. I was able to go right in, and I even had a pretty good seat. (Not in the nosebleed sections) I was thrilled! It felt like the Lord had provided that ticket just for me. A real blessing!
When we came out on our mission, I think most people assumed we’d be serving in the Family History Library. However, of the 13 who were in our group, only one is at the library. Four of us are auditing digital images, three have been assigned to the temple records zone, and, one is in the World-Wide Security zone. (She answers queries from around the world that have been translated for her.) One couple, I’ve mentioned before, are working with International Translation Services. And, two sisters are assigned to help in the Mission Office. (Still, others keep leaving, and there are needs in every zone for more senior missionaries!)
Another little tidbit before I end: When we were at the concert Friday night, the couple who were sitting next to me, struck up a conversation, and it turns out that we know the same people in a couple of different states. It’s a small world in the church! This couple served a mission in Salem, Missouri (near Rolla) a few years ago, and a friend of ours was the branch president while they were there. And, then we learned that the wife’s sister is someone we know from Texas! As they were leaving, the man handed me a card. Turns out, his name is Clark Gable!  LOL!

We Have our Mission Assignments

18 September 2016
Its been another great week in what our mission president likes to call, “The Best Mission in the World!” :-)
We completed our training Friday morning, and during a special “Go Forth” meeting, in the chapel, right afterward, each of us new missionaries learned our mission assignment. Bob and I are assigned to serve in the Digital Imaging Processing zone of the mission. (Affectionately known as the DIP) We’ll be on the third floor of the Church Office Building (COB).  So, we’re serving in the DIP, in the COB. 
Church Office Building
We won’t know exactly what our tasks will be until tomorrow, but, we met our zone leaders, Elder and Sister Browning, and learned a little about this part of the mission. The good news is that we will be working Monday-Friday, 7:45 a.m. until 4 p.m., with Saturdays and Sundays off. We feel very blessed! Quite a few other full-time senior missionaries work evenings and some Saturdays, depending upon where they’re serving. Of the 1200 missionaries in our mission, most are senior missionaries. About 90 are young, full-time Elders, and others are part-time Church Service Missionaries. The Church Service Missionaries live locally and come in two or three days a week to help out.
I think I mentioned before that we start each day with a devotional, and Elder Chastain, one of our trainers, told us about something interesting during his devotional thought the other day. He said he and his wife served in this mission (in the Family History Library) four years ago. One day while they were in the library, a man, in his late 50s or early 60s, came in. He had driven from California because he had felt a strong impression that he needed to go to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City to find his family. He explained that when he was 16 years old he had become interested in the church and after taking the discussions he chose to be baptized. His mother, however, didn’t like his decision. She packed his clothes in a suitcase, handed it to him, and told him to get out and not come back. His siblings were not allowed to have contact with him and though he wrote home several times, he never received any response. (He learned later that his mother tore up all of his letters.) Just after he started talking, another man walked up and stood nearby, listening to his story. After he finished, the other man put his hand on his shoulder and said, “I am your brother.” (There was a joyful reunion!) It turned out that all of this man’s siblings had eventually joined the church and his brother was in the library that day doing research. He had been on the third floor when he felt strongly that he should go down to the second floor, but, he didn’t know why. He went down and that’s where he found his brother! 
And, the best thing is, these kind of events are not rare. They happen a lot, here. Our Heavenly Father loves us and wants our families to be together!
Another great thing from this week was the talk by our mission president, Pres. Tate, at our “Go Forth” meeting Friday. He said a few years ago he was serving as an area seventy, and was asked to accompany Elder David A. Bednar for the creation of a new stake and the calling of a new stake president. Elder Bednar taught him that Doctrine & Covenants, chapters 6-9, is the best place to go to learn about revelation. Pres. Tate pointed out and expounded on several verses for us and, then, told us how he and Elder Bednar had worked together in the selection of that stake president. It really was interesting and inspiring.
Pres. Tate assured us that the same process had been used in determining where each of us would serve. And, I feel confident that Bob and I have been assigned where we are most needed.
On Friday, after we all got our assignments, the mission presidency and their wives, all of us new missionaries and some of the trainers went to the temple together. The Salt Lake Temple is massive! (I only got lost twice, though!) And, it is amazingly beautiful!! I’m so glad we were able to go.
One scripture that has left a real impression on me this week is the latter part of verse 24 in D&C 128. It says, “Let us offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness; and let us present in his holy temple a book containing the records of our dead, which shall be worthy of all acceptation.” The “worthy of all acceptation” part has really stayed with me — and helped reinforce for me the need for plenty of correct documentation and for including reasons for everything you do in familysearch.org.
In this mission, we’re each given one day a month off that we can use for our own family history research and temple work. We love it! The Family History Library is just a couple of blocks down the street from us, and the temple is directly across from that. I doubt we’ll ever be anywhere else, again, where doing this work is more convenient! And, our better understanding of familysearch.org is making it easier than ever to find family and do the work. 
With Gen. Conference coming in just a couple of weeks, I found this photo of the conference center on-line. The building in the background, at the top of the photo, just right of center, is the apartment building we live in. (Although we’re on the 7th floor, on the back side of the bldg., and can’t see the conference center from our place, we walk out the front door on that side of the building every morning and cut across part of the (paved) conference center grounds to report to our mission assignments.) Thought you might like to see. (If we're able to snag any tickets for General Conference, all we have to do it walk across the street!)

The Mission Begins!

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Monday, August 29 was our official start date at the MTC. We checked in at 10 a.m. to get our orientation package. From there they sent us to a few other places on campus for information, materials, etc. Then, after lunch, we had a large group meeting with all of the 73 senior missionaries at the MTC this week. We got an overview of the week's schedule and were divided into smaller districts for training. We were told that the average number of senior missionaries at the MTC in a given week is about 80, although sometimes it's over 100 and sometimes its below 40. (I thought the numbers would be at least twice that high.)
The whole week we were trained in Preach My Gospel. The first day we focused on our missionary purpose. (Invite others to come unto Christ!)
Following our afternoon training, Bob and I were set apart for our mission by Presiden Michael J. Bertasso, 1st counselor in the MTC presidency.
Elder and Sister Bertasso
(Since we left home so long before the beginning of our mission, our stake president didn't set us apart before we left. Instead, he arranged for us to be set apart after we got here.) The blessings we received as part of that setting apart were truly wonderful. It feels too sacred to talk about them, but, it was, by far, the best blessing I've ever received.
This is us, shortly after we were set apart.
After dinner, we got to see a fabulous video of a talk by Elder Bednar about the character of Christ. We were told it is only available at the MTC, otherwise, I'd get a copy so I could watch it again.
The rest of the week followed a similar schedule. It was mostly small group study and training in classrooms, with occasional large group meetings. All very inspiring.
On Tuesday night we got to hear from Elder Watkins of the 70 at the weekly MTC devotional for everyone at the MTC. There are 2,400 missionaries here this week, and when that many of us are singing together, it's awesome!!
During our Thursday training, focusing on the Holy Ghost, we saw another MTC exclusive video with Elder Bednar. Wonderful, wonderful talk. Fabulous. Again, I wish I could have a copy of it.
We did a lot of role playing during the week with other senior missionaries and it was helpful to have these experiences. I actually wish I could have had this kind of training way before this - I'd have been a MUCH better member missionary! (Of course, there's still time after the mission) :-)
Friday afternoon we drove to Salt Lake City to meet with some of the housing coordinators, etc for our mission, sign our lease, and get instructions for our first few days in the mission. Although there are only 12 new senior missionaries in our group, there are more than a thousand missionaries in this mission. In fact, I was surprised to learn that we are not under the missionary department. We're under the family history department - a mission unto itself.
Then we moved in! Oh, boy!!
We unloaded everything we had with us at the MTC and then went to get all the stuff we had in storage. I'm not sure how many trips it took for us to get everything inside, up the elevator and into the apartment. One nice thing was that members of our new branch (Salt Lake 2nd Branch) left us a goodie basket with a variety of food items and snacks. That was a sweet surprise.
Since we had a completely bare cupboard and refrigerator, we headed to the grocery store before we did much in the way of unpacking. Fortunately, the apartment building has some courtesy shopping carts that help get multiple shopping bags into our apartments. That helped!
Saturday we did more unpacking and also ran some errands to pick up a few things we don't have that we didn't think of or were too tired to get Friday night. (kitchen utensils, bath accessories, etc.) Its been a long time since I needed to think about getting some of these things.
We're mostly unpacked and organized now, but, I'm looking forward to having everything in place and getting into a routine. . .
Its a blessing to have this opportunity.
 ---
I forgot to say that when we had our meeting with some of the mission staff Friday afternoon, they had us move our name tags from the left shoulder to the right — because we're working for people who are on the other side. :-) Everyone in this mission wears them that way.

Our Trip West

We left North Carolina on August 9 and traveled to Kirtland, Ohio. We hadn’t been to Kirtland for more than 40 years and it was interesting to see the difference. We loved being able to visit the LDS historic sites and to visit the Kirtland temple.
From Kirtland we drove to Lake Forest, Illinois and had dinner with Bob’s college roommate (and the best man at our wedding), and his wife — Bob and Kathy McFarland. It was great to catch up with them. It had been quite a few years since we last saw them.
The next two days we spent with our family in Gurnee, IL. On Friday, we saw Ryann for just a few minutes before she had to hurry off to work, and we took Isabelle and Bobby out to lunch and a movie. (We saw Pete’s Dragon.) Their mom, Maria, joined us for dinner near the theater, and then she had an evening commitment. We went back to their house and played games with the kids.
On Saturday, we picked up Isabelle and Bobby and took the train downtown. Spent some time at the Art Institute (fabulous!!) and at the Navy Pier.
Isabelle had fallen off her board about a week before she got there and her hand was still swollen. Even though she didn’t complain, I think she was uncomfortable with it while we were out. She seemed eager to get home and put some ice on it. (I expressed my concern to her mom that I thought it could be broken, but last I heard, Isabelle had still not been seen by a doctor.)
We had a bit of a mad dash to the train on the way back from Chicago. The scheduled bus leaving Navy Pier didn’t arrive, and the next bus, scheduled 20 min. later was more than 20 min, late! When we got to the train station, we raced to the track we needed and got on the train. We were barely inside the train when it started backing out. Sure glad we made it!
That evening we ate dinner at the Japanese restaurant where Ryann works so we’d have another chance to see her.
On Sunday morning, we drove to Rockford, IL and went to church in the Rockford 1st Ward, then went to spend the rest of the day with my twin brother, Bill, and his wife, Julette. It was a great visit!
 Monday morning we continued our trek west, stopping outside Minneapolis to visit my father’s gravesite. The last time I was there was when he was buried, and if it hadn’t been for some good information from my brother, Bill, I’m not sure I would have found it.
We also stopped in Alexandria, MN to see the Viking Museum, including a 3/4 scale of a viking ship. It was an interesting museum. I don’t remember ever learning that the vikings came this far inland, but there is plenty of evidence that they did.
Continuing our journey, we then stopped for a late lunch at the Fryn’ Pan restaurant in Wahpeton, North Dakota. (ND is one of the states we needed to include so we can someday say we’ve visited all of 50 of them. We’ll also be in SD, NE, and OR for the first time on this trip!)
From ND, we headed south and spent the night in Sioux Falls, SD. Traveling across South Dakota took all day, but, there were several interesting stops to help break up the trip. SD helped me appreciate the phrase in our national anthem about “amber waves of grain.” Lots of wide-open spaces here.
Our first stop after Sioux Falls was at the Corn Palace in Mitchell. Its amazing that this town redesigns and constructs all the images on the outside of the building every year. This year the theme was rock and roll. Its a clever way to get people to a town they might not ever stop in otherwise! :-)
On the other side of the state, in Wall, SD, is the famous Wall Drug. If you travel across that state you can’t miss the numerous billboards encouraging you to stop there. And, there is quite a bit in this one shop. It was fun to browse, and I was able to buy some sun screen since mine was getting low.
Our next stop was Sturgis and we were glad we were able to spend a few minutes in the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum. (We arrived later in the day than we had hoped so didn’t get to spend much time there.) Interesting place!



Our lodging for the night was at a nice little B&B in Keystone, SD, very near to Mount Rushmore. After dinner, we drove up to try to catch the night show at Mount Rushmore, but there was some lightning nearby, so they cancelled the show. The next day we got some great views, though! Its incredible to know that 90% of the “carving” that was done was done with dynamite.
We also drove to see the Crazy Horse Monument. What a massive undertaking! And, since they won’t accept any federal funds, (you know, that whole Native American vs. U.S. government thing) and are relying on private donations to complete the work, its going fairly slowly. It will be fabulous when its complete! In the video they show at the visitors center they say that the people who are dynamiting here have so much experience, that although the national standard for blasting is to be able to get within 8” of where you want to be, they consistently are able to blast within 3”. Amazing!
 To get an idea of scale, you could place all of the heads on Mt. Rushmore in the rectangle just behind Crazy Horse's head!
From here, we drove to Nebraska and stayed near the Chimney Rock National Historic Site. This site and our visit to Scott’s Bluff the next morning really gave me an appreciate for all those pioneers to walked across these plains! As slow as their progress was, it must have been discouraging to see one of these sites in the distance and yet it took days and days to get there. They were a brave lot, traveling so far into the unknown as they did!
 View from the top of Scott's Bluff
On Friday we made it to Fort Collins, CO, met up with my nephew, Steve Wade, and he went with us to tour the new Ft. Collins temple. What a beautiful place! (I found myself feeling a bit jealous for our little Raleigh temple.) Steve is not a member of the church, and we enjoyed being able to answer his questions.

We then went to dinner at Austins. This was the best meal of our entire trip!! I need to visit my nephew more often just so we can eat there! :-) Steve is going to be participating in a triathlon in a couple of weeks - swim a mile, bike 56 miles, then run a half-marathon. I’m still wondering how people think that’s fun, but, hooray for him!
Saturday morning we met up with my niece, Cheryl Meakins, and her family at Steuben’s in old town Arvada, CO. Steve also joined us since he hadn’t seen Cheryl in several years either. We had a good visit over a late breakfast, then continued on.
We stopped in Vail along the way and I finally understand the attraction. What a lovely place! We enjoyed seeing the peaceful, little Betty Ford garden nearby, too.
From there we drove to Grand Junction and spent the night.
After attending church on Grand Junction Sunday morning, we drove to Utah and spent about an hour in Arches National Park. (Since we have Senior Park Passes, we get in to all the parks free.) We didn’t have time to drive through as much of it as we would have liked, but, we enjoyed what we did see.

That night, we checked into our hotel in Salt Lake City. It felt great to know all that driving was behind us.
On Monday, Aug 21, we secured a storage unit at a facility not too far from the apartment we’ll be living in. We decided it would be better to put everything in storage that we don’t absolutely have to have with us this week. It felt great to lighten our load. We also went to Mr. Mac and bought a couple of suits for Bob that he’ll need for the mission.
Tuesday was the first time we could just relax in the room for the morning. Aaahhhh!
Because we’ve never been to Oregon, and we had these few extra days in Salt Lake before we head to the MTC, and because the 24th is our anniversary, we decided to take a quick trip, just for fun. So, Tuesday evening we flew to Portland.
On Wednesday (our anniversary) we went downtown, enjoyed having lunch at the Portland Soup Company — one of the permanent “trucks” that is part of Portland’s famous food-truck row. Bob had soup, but I had a delicious pork sandwich. Yum!
 
After lunch we met up with Keryssa, who gave us a Segway tour of the city. It was our first time on a Segway and we really enjoyed it. We’ve been blessed with beautiful weather for almost all of our trip across the country and this day was not exception.
We asked our Segway guide to recommend a good place for dinner and she suggested the Portland City Grill, so that’s where we went. It did not disappoint. We had a window table with a great view of Mount Hood, and the restaurant staff even put fun anniversary “sprinkles” on our table. (Tiny hearts and cutouts of the words “Happy Anniversary”)
We also used Uber for the first time while we were here. It was a really quick, cost effective way for us to get around.
Before we left on Thursday, we visited the beautiful Japanese Gardens in Portland. There was some construction going on, which detracted some from the peacefulness one usually feels in such a place, but it was wonderful to see, anyway. I love Japanese gardens!


Late Thursday afternoon we flew back to Salt Lake City and drove to Sandy, where we stayed for two nights.
Friday, we did a little more shopping and ate lunch on the 10th floor of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. The food was just okay, but, the view can’t be beat! (I’d forgotten how beautiful the Joseph Smith Memorial Building is!)

On Saturday, we put the luggage we’d been using this week in storage and pulled out the things we needed for the Mission Training Center (MTC). Then, we drove to Provo and checked in to our MTC lodgings. We were able to get there in time to go to an afternoon session at the Provo City Center Temple. Oh, wow! What a fabulous place!! We didn’t want to leave.
We had sacrament meeting that Sunday with the International Branch at the MTC. All the missionaries in this branch are from other countries and speak English as a second language. (The meeting was held in English.) One speaker was from Guatamala and one from the Dominican Republic. We also heard from a member of the branch presidency and his wife. But, the highlight of the meeting was a special musical number by a choir from one of the districts. It was a medley of Primary songs, and different parts of it were sung in different languages — Spanish, Japanese, and English. It was beautiful and the spirit was really strong.
We also attended a couple of special devotionals that evening. Super experiences! So glad we had the opportunity to attend those.

While We Wait

After selling the house, going to my class reunion, and taking our fun trip to Mackinac Island, we settled in to wait until time to leave for our mission. Pat and Harold Hargett have been very kind to let us live in their upstairs all these weeks, and we are very grateful to them. (We left our home on June 22 and leave for our mission Aug 9)
The Hargetts are such good people! We have the whole upstairs to ourselves, but we share their kitchen, so Pat and I take turns cooking and doing dishes.
As soon as we returned from Michigan, I needed to finish making a baptismal dress for our granddaughter, Lily. I loved being able to do it, and Pat had an extra machine in her sewing room that she let me use. I enjoyed sharing that space with Pat while we both sewed — she on a quilt, and me on the dress.
Lily's baptism was the Saturday after we got back, July 16th, and she looked precious in her new dress.
I love seeing our grandchildren being baptized! Such a sweet occasion. 

And. . . since Lily's baptism, we've been filling our time with an assortment of activities. 
I hired Dana Wood to finish a painting that I started last year because it became clear that in the midst of everything else, I wouldn't be able to complete it. He took some artistic liberties with it and I'm kind of disappointed with the final outcome, but I had already given it back to him once because he needed fix some things that weren't right, and, this time, I felt I just needed to take it and go. He said that Susy could bring it back to him any time if she wasn't satisfied with it, but I doubt that she will. I wanted the painting to be a surprise for Susy, but I could tell, she wasn't too excited with it. Oh well. . .
 This is the photo I started with.
 Here's the underpainting I did before giving it to Dana.
And, this is the final painting. 
It's a good enough painting, but their heads are not proportional to each other and the fact that he made her head so small, instead of painting from the photo and the underpainting I gave him, really bothers me. Oh well. . . I think Dana is a good artist, and I've seen portraits he's done of his own family members that are great - but, for some reason, he just couldn't seem to envision this one the way I expected. I wish I'd been able to finish it myself. It probably wouldn't have looked as "painterly", but, I think I might have been happier with it. I just had too much else going on to do it. . .

On a better note, I got John's quilt back from the long-arm quilter who was working it, and was able to finish it, and add the binding. I'm very happy to say I'm heading off on our mission with all of my children and my husband having quilts I've made for them. Woo Hoo! It was delightful to be able to present this quilt to John.

I think he's pretty happy with it - although, now it seems my other sons may be jealous that he got a cooler quilt than they did. . .

We also continue to pare down for the mission. We still had two cars when we got to the Hargetts, and didn't consolidate as much as we should have. Now, my car is sold and we can only take what we can fit in Bob's car, so we keep sorting through and taking more stuff to storage. We do have a couple of small boxes of things we don't need right away that we're giving to Heather to mail after we get there. But, since we're taking our time driving across country, we don't want to have so much stuff visible in the back seat that someone might be tempted to steal it — we only want to have as much in the back as we're willing to carry into the hotel each night along the way. (We feel it will be safe to leave things in the trunk, but not out where others can see it.)

It's fun that we already have our mission address and know we'll be living right across the street from the Conference Center in the West Temple apartments. (185 N. West Temple, Apt. 709, SLC) We'll be on the 7th floor, on the west side of the building, so won't have a view of the temple from our apartment, but, I think we'll still have a pleasant view. Its an older building — I understand we'll have formica counter tops and scratched up porcelain sinks with old metal rims — but that's okay. We'll be within walking distance of anywhere in the mission and these apartments have two bedrooms, which I really wanted. All the newer, fancier apartments are only one bedroom. This way we have a place for visitors to sleep and I'm hoping some of our kids will come even if we can only spend very limited time with them while they're there.

We're stopping in several places on the way west, and we're looking forward to the trip, as well as beginning our mission!

Mackinac Island

Several years ago, we realized that over the years we've managed to visit (not just drive through) most of the U.S., so we set a goal to visit each U.S. state at some point. Michigan is one of the states we hadn't gotten to, yet, so we decided to go.
We had sold our home and still had plenty of time before we leave for our mission, so, why not? On July 6, we flew to Michigan, then rented a car to take us to the ferry, which then took us to the island.

This is us on the ferry - on the way to the island.
We were blessed with beautiful weather while we were there!
No cars are allowed on the island (The ferry companies have parking facilities), so, one thing you notice is that its quieter than most places, You just have to watch out for lots of bicycles and horses when crossing the street.
When we first arrived, I noticed the smell of horse manure, but, they do a really good job of keeping the streets clean, so most of the time you don't notice that. There are men on bicycles, pulling small carts behind them, that sweep up throughout the day.
The horses you see in town are all hitched to carriages. There are places on the island that rent horses to ride, but, generally, you don't see them on the main streets of the town.
 We took a tour of the island with Daisy and Paisley and their driver, Blake.
Its a quaint place. Very relaxing - which is what I was looking for. 
It seems like every other shop on the main street sells fudge! And, we learned that visitors are called "fudgies" by the locals.
Of course, this is the island that became famous as the place where the movie Somewhere In Time was filmed. And, while there, we went to the Grand Hotel and enjoyed a nice lunch and a tour of the hotel and grounds.
This is us on the enormous porch of the Grand Hotel.

The Grand Hotel
Close up of the endtrance
View from the portico 

There were several historic buildings on the island - with enactors who shared stories of the early settlers.

We enjoyed this lovely scene on a morning walk.

The island has lots and lots of places to rent bikes - and I got a kick out of the "parking lot" of the local police station.

We had lunch one day at the Hotel Iroquois. Great food. Fabulous view. (We tried to stay here, but it was already booked, so we stayed across the street, at the Lake View Hotel.) After lunch, it was nice to sit on a bench by the water's edge and enjoy the day.
One last shot as we left the island. 
We had a wonderful, relaxing visit and would recommend it for a great getaway! This quote pretty well sums it up: "As a place of resort during the summer months, there can be none more desirable - none possessing more attractive features and health-restoring influences than this island of Mackinac." - New York Weekly Tribune, July 9, 1853.