@kingarthur, The last three (starting with laurel) are just the names given to the groups of teenage girls (like 14-16 year old boys are called teachers, and 16-18 boys are called priests) the age distinction is used to say which sunday school class they break off into.
@Jet. I converted when I was 12 (half of my homeschooling group was mormon. (yep home-schooled, however I didn't have anything like you saw in Jesus-Camp). I can only speak for what it's like to be a teenager in the church. But it is weird and distinct. 3 hours of church on Sunday, an hour and a half youth event once a week. An hour of early morning seminary everyday once you start highschool (one year for the old testament, one for the New, one for the BoM and one for the DNC. the seminary only goes on during the school year of course). You're also encouraged to read at least half an hour of scriptures a day on your own accord. Anyway the point is it's a lot of damn time being immersed in the culture. But everybody's pretty damn nice.
And one of the reasons mormons are so damn nice is, one of the reasons everybody (america) hated them when they first started out, they walk around with a knowledge that what they're doing is the MOTHER FUCKING WORD OF GOD. I can't stress that enough about what mormons think. They believe with no doubt they are doing the lords work. And, you might ask what's the difference between that and any other religious person? Latter-day prophecy ladies and gentlemen you know the church has a president (the prophet) and the quorum of the 12 apostles? It's basically a requirement that all of those people...HAVE TALKED TO GOD IN THE FLESH. Yep. And here's the thing though, if you're a devout enough mormon, maybe, just maybe, He'll talk to you to. Ain't no church claims to have a personal relationship with God like the Latter Day Saints.
Another fun thing about the church is, Bible have a bunch of shit that doesn't make sense in it? It was corrupted by man, and Joseph Smith was working on a new translation before he got killed, so you can dismiss lots of it if it seems cruel or, stupid.
One thing I always really liked about the church was it's doctrine that nobody goes to hell. (unless you were a mormon and fell away and even then you only spend a thousand years in outer darkness, then get to spend eternity hanging out in the lowest kingdom of heaven (there's three kingdoms of heaven...oh dear god, the myths and dogma of Mormonism are amazing).
Oh, right the questions you asked. I never actually went on a mission. I hightailed it out of the church when I was 17. As for why? I smoked pot, and started thinking about suicide bombers and faith. If some motherfuckers have faith enough to blowthemselves up for a god I don't think is true, and my God made that faith...then what the fuck?! how can they be wrong in their personal faith. (not sure if that made sense but it did to me).
I still believed in bible God all of that. Up until about a year or two later, when two punk rock atheist friends turned on Bad Religions "Destined for Nothing" and made me listen to it. "Does it make you suffer cuz you have to die? Is it best to live a lie?" Is a line in the song and, once I heard that, it was like the snap of a finger I stopped believing in God.
I used to have a pretty good viewpoint towards the church up until the shit they pulled in california over prop 8. Since then I've kinda been, man, Fuck those assholes. But I still can't deny they're nice people.
I was lucky that I was a convert who left the church as opposed to someone raised in the church because chances are if you were raised in the church, then your parents and grandparents and your great grandparents were too. and that is pressure I can't imagine. I've known and still have a few friends that's happened with and, man. It doesn't look fuckin easy.
I'd still say I'm agnostic as opposed to an atheist (just mostly to piss off atheists who would be pissed off about such things). As for what I've been doing since I left the church...I was a huge pothead (and whatever other drug came my way) from 17 till 21 and after that I've pretty much just been a raging drunk (I'm 29 now). oh, I move around a lot, and fuck girls and occasionally suck dick and...yeah. That's my life. and it's pretty fucking awesome.
I know it probably sounds like my leaving the church influenced my desire to get fucked up a lot but it didn't. While I'm personally a lazy individual, I believe the church instilled me with a pretty strong sense of honor and fair play that, I can't say I would have had otherwise. But, other than that there isn't a thing I miss about it.
If only it had instilled a better sense of fucking grammar.
tl/dr? Yeah I don't blame you.