Disclaimer: This post was in no way written to marginalize missions and the great importance of missionaries, nor was it intended to be used to excuse unrighteous judgment and decisions in any way. Its purpose is to hopefully remove stigmas that I feel are not Christlike. It's a hard world we live in, and we cannot allow the environment in our wards and hometowns to be just as hard for someone who is struggling. Be kind.
I remember sitting in my young women's class one Sunday with a bookmark-length piece of paper my leaders had passed around resting on my lap. Dotting the top and surrounded by curling filigree were the familiar words "What I Want in a Future Spouse." I wrote down some stupid things, like dark hair and beautiful brown eyes or someone who is tall -- it's really funny to see how preference changes over time -- but then there were more important and personal things, too, some that, as a girl, I don't think I understood fully.
"He must honor his Priesthood."
"He must be able to look past my weaknesses."
"He should talk to me about important things."
And then, near the top: "He must be a returned missionary."