Subject: Unwritten law for RM's - don't talk about how tough your mission was.
Date: Nov 21, 2009
Author: Observer
Note:: RM - Returned Missionary.  An individual who served a 2 year mission for the Mormon church
as a young man (usually 19-21 years old) or served an 18 month mission as a young woman (21-24 years old).

It's okay to talk up the great/faith promoting experiences but it's better for all concerned ( including future missionaries ) if you just leave out the hell-hard times. I guess the general belief is that what doesn't kill you strengthens you - and maybe there's merit in that. What say ye, fellow RM's ? One troubling point for me is the kids who should never have gone out in the first place, for a variety of good reasons, and for whom the mission was hell on earth.


Subject: Exactly right man. If you mention the bad stuff you're letting the whole team down. nt


Subject: hear, hear!
Date: Nov 21 02:57
Author: charles, buddhist punk

agree 100%

this is more BS-ing in the Mormon cult. I'd been shown or given a false, distorted picture of a full time mission while working as stake missionary. as a young, naive teen I was treated with more kindness by full timers than necessary because, hey, I was volunteering on my free time.

plus i worked with the son of the Mission Prez in our area, therefore he had more flexi time than the other lowly, hoi polloi servants of the Lord, i.e. he could go home in the middle of the day to nap, spent a lot of time typing up reports, bumming around the house, playing practical jokes on others, etc. Ergo, I thought you could do that on your mish as long as you had X number of discussions per week!


I was low-on-the-totem pole, hoi polloi on my mission and therefore did ALL manner of grunt work.


Subject: Even as a TBM I refused to tow the party line.
Date: Nov 21 03:07
Author: bingoe4

I NEVER said "It was the best 2 years of my life." I told people all the time that I wouldn't repeat it for any thing. I even talked a guy I was in the Marines with out of preparing for a mission that he promised his mom he'd go on when he got out of the Marines. I resented the guys that came home and were lying through their teeth when they spewed their accolades about their missions. This was all as a TBM.


Subject: Wow, I really do respect you for not faking it, and lying.


Subject: My MP's not so subtle counsel...
Date: Nov 21 04:00
Author: runningman

Was to leave behind any negative experiences I may have had and to not share them upon returning home. Pretty sick stuff.


Subject: Are you serious!?!
Date: Nov 21 10:06
Author: Kirsten

I never knew this! They actually tell you that you can't discuss the negative? I don't know why this surprises me. Wow, what a mind f***!!!

I had to go through therapy to get over the influences of the cult. Had I served a mission, I think I would still be in therapy.


Subject: the sifting process
Date: Nov 21 08:06
Author: teamplayerish

This is the sifting process that eventually "prepares" men for callings that require much more spinelessness and lack of integrity like bishop, HC, SP, and eventually GA.


Subject: Re: Unwritten law for RM's - don't talk about how tough your mission was.
Date: Nov 21 09:59
Author: Eric K

I never talked about my mission. It was a depressing and degrading experience. My first calling after the mission was to be the teachers' quorum adviser (14-15 year old boys). I was quite conscious of never encouraging them to serve missions. I skipped those parts in the manuals that stated or implied missions were mandatory when teaching lessons. This alone should of been a clue to me that something was wrong - that I could not freely talk about my experience. I too was a drone, yet I did not want others to suffer the same fate. sigh...


Subject: I NEVER talked about how tough it was.
Date: Nov 21 10:10
Author: flattopSF

I always talked about how RIDICULOUS it was.

One CAN learn lessons from living through tough situations. However, most people don't know how to take those experiences and channel them through lenses that can turn them into potentially positive things.



Subject: Re: Unwritten law for RM's - don't talk about how tough your mission was.
Date: Nov 21 10:21
Author: AxelDC

I hated my mission. The only part I liked was the country, language and culture.

I thought the mission would be tough because people didn't want to be bothered with missionaries. That part wasn't pleasant, but the toughest part was how the church treated you. It was a real mind fuck to be out their preaching about the glories of the Gospel and telling people how great the church was, while your leaders heaped guilt on you, treated you like shit and cut every corner possible in your care.

I felt terrible about my mission for years, and had recurring unpleasant dreams about being forced back.

As soon as I realized what a crock the church was, I no longer felt like a bad missionary. I realized that I had been used and abused. I stopped having bad dreams, and I felt a lot better about myself.

The hard part about a mission aren't the physical challenges. It's putting your trust in an organization that abuses you and then says it's all your fault.


Subject: The mission sucked
Date: Nov 21 10:33
Author: NoToJoe

but ironically it was those tough situations that helped me eventually leave the cult. I returned home with a very strong resentment of 'Church' authority.

It was because of the mission that I refused to even submit an aplication to BYU. I had spent two years at the end of Mormon leash and I was NOT signing up for another four.

Also, the short version of a long story, my mission office had cheated me out of about $200 when I first arrived. They had offered to cash some AMEX travelers checks for me as a 'favor'. I signed over $400 in checks and an hour later they handed me $200 in pesos with a comment about a special fee (that had only been charged to those newbies who accepted the offer to have checks cashed). This $200 scam later lead me to invent some really creative math for calculating 10% of my income. Most of these calculations ended in ZERO for some strange reason. A few years later I decided that the crazy math was no longer necessary since the end result was almost always zero....I had reach a point where I no longer paid tithing and felt ZERO guilt. This was a major step in my exit process and I owe it to that $200 scam from them mission.

Cost of cashing travelers checks in Chile: $200. A life-time of no tithing: PRICELESS.


Subject: Does that mean.....
Date: Nov 21 10:52
Author: Hotwaterblue son can't tell the story about his companion showering outwide with his towel hanging on a rope next to the shower. What the showering missionary didn't know a parade of red ants was wallking down the rope and making a home in his towel.
When he completed his shower it only took about 10 steps for the ants to take offense to being moved and began to bite him in his intimate area(s). Over 100 bites.
Hard to tell that from the pulpit.


Subject: Engh. I had a good time. 'Twern't so tough.
Date: Nov 21 11:52
Author: cludgie

I think the toughest part is the constant battle against boredom, the war you fight each morning to find stuff to do during the day, and perhaps even tougher is dealing with an a$$hole of a companion and/or DL or ZL.


Subject: When I returned from my London mission in the mid-80's....
Date: Nov 21 11:59
Author: Steven

I was telling my future TBM father in law about my mission one day. I started off with a few positive experiences, and then I told him about one negative experience about one of my companions who was sent home after getting a married member pregnant. My future FIL became unglued, shaken, and noticeably upset. He practically cast me out of the home for sharing this experience in front of his molly momo daughter (who wasn't so molly momo actually). He was so upset that he had to leave the room. Even then I thought it was very strange.

TBM MOMO's live in a make believe fantasy world.


Subject: Re: Unwritten law for RM's - don't talk about how tough your mission was.
Date: Nov 21 20:48
Author: LivingALie

After I got home from my mission I openly told my family, "You know those missionaries that say they'd do it again in a heartbeat? Liars. All of them. If it were possible to go on another mission, they would all shut up." I actually tried to talk a couple sisters out of going. I told them the truth about the mission experience, but they would not listen. The only happy times in my mission were when I didn't give a damn about the rules. I would do anything to get those two years back. All of that suffering, for a damned lie.


Subject: Apparently missions have Las Vegas rules ....
Date: Nov 21 21:52
Author: Skybolt

"What goes on in Vegas, stays in Vegas"

Actually, there are some similarities; both places are built on fantasy, and you leave with less money then you came with.

Only in Vegas you can have fun doing it!


Subject: One of my friends violated this rule big-time, then.
Date: Nov 22 01:07
Author: can't log in here

He wrote to me all the time while on his mission. He complained - humorously - about every minute of it. Once he described just exactly what a moron his comp was, including a funny cariacature of the guy complete with devil horns. His letters about people he met on his mission were hilarious. All my other friends who went on missions still won't talk about their experiences, though.


Subject: I talked about it.
Date: Nov 22 01:13
Author: Laozi

I talked about it in my letters home. My father subsequently blamed me for my younger brother's decision not to go. He was probably right.

I talked about it in my homecoming speech. My mother told me never to mention it again because I was complicating life for my family. Otherwise, I was shunned. What young woman wants to date an RM who had a terrible mission? What bishop or stake president or parent of children wants to listen to, or support, someone whose views are poisonous to the community?

The only positive result came late one night in a library. One of the walking dead (someone from a different mission in the same country who had come home in disgrace), an old friend whom I had not seen in years, came up to me at a reading table, sat down and said, "I heard about your homecoming talke. Thank you. No one else has the guts to say what happened." Then he got up and walked away and I never saw him again.

Other than that, nothing positive came out of my honesty. The others who had been through the same thing kept their mouths shut, acted like I was a leper, and then left the Church years or decades later. With one exception, we don't communicate. There is too much shame and distrust between us.


Subject: I had an institute director.....
Date: Nov 22 01:22
Author: Ben Ben

....who was a former mission president in Roanoke VA. We became really close because at the time, there was no priesthood in my family. He was sort of my spiritual cheerleader, giving encouraging words and being so positive all the time.

When I got back from my mission, he was one of the first people I stopped to see. The first thing I told him was NOT, "It was awesome!" Instead, I told him, that it was tough...that it was hell. So much focus on politics, and numbers from leaders and those in authority. The gospel truly took a backseat to numbers.

There was an awkward was one of those silences like when someone farts in a quiet room full of people. Everyone knows the meaning of the sounds that were just made, but only one person really "knows."

And since he had been an institute director, bishop, mission president, and other high callings for decades....I think HE knew that my words were the dangerous first signs of a member on his way out. I didn't know what to make of the silence, but I do now!

I got a lot of strange looks in a later institute class where I was put on the spot about the mission, and I loudly declared to virgin ears, "It was hell."

I never really talked badly about the mission experience...I just didn't sugar coat anything.

I think I was too outraged by the realities of the mission to care about maintaining the unwritten rule.

Related Topics:

3. Mormon Missions - regrets?      

29. Missionaries Were Here 

39. Missionary and Death of a Parent 

50. Missionaries Use Manipulation 

74. Missionary Companions

76. Crazy Mission Rules 

85. Regrets of LDS Mission II 

 94. New Missionary Standards

99. Missionary Farewells 

120 Missions Promote Lying 

116 Met with Missionaries

142 Regrets Mormon Mission III

151  Saying  'No' to Mormon Missionaries 

154  European Mission Experiences

181  1st Presidency on Missionary Work

205  Missions - Future Apostasy 

209  Control at the MTC 

214  Breaking Mission Rules 

241  Suicides after a Mission 

244  Some Mission Rules 

257  Mormon Grandparents are Stalkers

289 Not Allowed to Serve a Mission

298 Mormon Malignancy Seen in Missions

299 "Get the Fire" PBS Film - Missionaries

309 Happy that Your Mission was Finally Over?

328 Mormon Parents Rat on Missionary Son

361 Missionaries Pressured to Marry Soon after Missions

364 Breakdown of a Mormon Missionary in Japan

404 Missionary Program and Immigration Fraud

395 More Mormon Missionary Abuse

425 More on Mormon Missionary Abuse II

431 More on Mormon Missionary Abuse III

454 Depression and Mormon Missions

477.  A Missionary's Food Budget is Reduced to $130/mo

522.  Nightmares of Being Called to a Second Mission 555.  Japan Mission under President Groberg  1979-1982
579.  Parents Can No Longer Enter the MTC 582.  Missionaries Prey on the Vulnerable in Hospitals
585.  Church Using Missionaries as Telemarketers in the MTC 588.  Mormon Missionaries Often Experience Despicable Living Conditions
592.  More Japanese Mission Experiences  


Recovery from Mormonism - The Mormon Church

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