In 2015, Alfredo Esquivel and Hope Sinclair came to BYU-Idaho.
Sinclair, a freshman studying English, and Esquivel, a freshman studying health science, are both converts to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
On Nov. 23, 2014, Sinclair was baptized in Charlestown, West Virginia.
“My friend, she ended up getting into the Church, and she got baptized,” Sinclair said. “I thought Mormons were weird, but I decided to go to church with her to support her, and I felt the spirit, and I was like, ‘This is pretty cool,’ and then the missionaries got ahold of me, and then a year later I got baptized.”
Esquivel was baptized on Sept. 12, 2010, in Riverside, California.
“I was just praying for a really long time for Heavenly Father’s help, and I remember saying a prayer, and the missionaries, they tracted to my mom’s house in Palm Springs, California,” Esquivel said. “And she was like, ‘I’m not interested, but go to my son in Riverside.’”
Esquivel, at the time was a student at Riverside Community College.
“I felt lost, like confused, like I had a lot of really bad friends around me, really bad influences,” Esquivel said. “They smoked pot and drank alcohol and did terrible things. And I never felt comfortable being around them 100 percent.”
Esquivel served a mission in the Utah Salt Lake City West mission from 2012 to 2014.
Esquivel’s mother was very supportive of his decision to be baptized, herself being Catholic.
“She just wants us to be happy,” Esquivel said. “She’s such an amazing mom.”
Sinclair’s parents had a harder time understanding.
“They thought it was really weird and they wouldn’t let me get baptized for the longest time. I wanted to, like really soon, but they just wouldn’t let me.” Sinclair said. “But I was almost 18 when they said yes.”
In Winter Semester 2015 while walking to devotional on campus, Esquivel saw Sinclair for the first time.
“We met in front of the Hart building,” Esquivel said. “I was walking to devotional, and I saw Hope, and I asked her if she wanted to go to devotional with me. We just started talking and dating after that.”
Esquivel and Sinclair were happy to find that they had so much in common including their recent conversion.
“I thought it was really cool because everyone I talked to were Mormon raised, and I was like, ‘Wow, that’s really cool I wish I had that,'” Sinclair said.
Esquivel and Sinclair were sealed in the Rexburg, Idaho temple on April 11, 2015.
“We were praying together, like on our knees, and it just felt really, really powerful,” Esquivel said. “Something stronger than I’d felt before like praying by myself. But when we were together in my room, I felt like we should both kneel down and ask Heavenly Father, and the spirit was there, and I turned to her and asked her. I gave her a little orange plastic ring cause I didn’t have a metal ring.”
Sinclair’s family disowned her for a time after hearing about the engagement and no family from either side was present at the wedding. But they had friends including a sister missionary from Sinclair’s past.
“One of my sister missionaries from home who taught me, we actually got a dress from DI and she made it,” Sinclair said. “Basically my sister missionary made my dress. I loved it. It was really nice of her.”
Despite the tension from Sinclair’s family, this July they will all go to Disneyland as a family.
It will be the first time Esquivel meets Sinclair’s dad.