The fact that approximately 53% of BYU’s population has served a mission for the LDS church plays a major part in the strange BYU culture. While engaging in full-time service for 2 years helps young men grow, learn, and mature, it also, in many ways, makes them very, very immature.
Return missionaries, more specifically, male return missionaries, love to talk about their Mission President. Not only do they love to talk about their MP, they love to brag about he was the best MP that has ever served in the church.
RM #1: “Dude, my Mission President was the best. He taught me so much about myself.”
RM #2: “Oh, I totally know what you mean. I loved my President, he let us watch Disney movies on Sundays.”
RM#1: “I loved watching movies on Sundays. My Mission President was so rich, he owned like 7 businesses.”
RM#2: “Mine too, well not just 7, he owned the whole franchise. He was so rich.”
RM #1: “Yeah, well mine is going to be a GA as soon as he is released.”
RM#2: “Well you weren’t AP like me, so he probably doesn’t even remember you. I was closer to my President than I was to my dad.”
RM#1: “My President calls me, and talks to me on facebook. He totally remembers me. And he has a hot wife.”
RM#2: “Whatever, bro. When my President gets back he’s going to teach me about business, and dating girls, and money…..”
This conversation could continue for hours, literally-HOURS. The time spent on this topic is directionally proportional to the number of RMs in the vicinity, and the number of Mission Presidents brought into the competition for best president.
All types of RMs engage in this debate. All types refers to all missionaries ranging from the uber-rightous/obedient/letter-of-the-law missionaries to the x-box/sneak-out/sleep-in missionaries. All (even if they were sent home by their MP) will claim that the President of their mission was the most amazing, wealthy, righteous, inspired, attractive, hilarious, relaxed/strict, loving man serving the LDS church.
Normally, this point in the post would inform you how to use this BYU characteristic to gain friends/acquaintances in the BYU population. But as mentioned above, these MP conversations can take upwards of two hours, so it is advised that you just avoid the topic at all costs. Of course, this might mean that you just can’t talk about missions period, and that is impossible. So……good luck?